NEWS ARCHIVE - 2020
All text, photography and artwork is COPYRIGHT by GARY SIM unless noted otherwise.
DEC. 20: SOLSTICE UPDATE
From a recent walk along the English Bay seawall.
It has been a while since the last NEWS posting, it was a very quiet fall season.
However, my proposed donations of BC ARTISTS material to the University of Victoria
Library and Special Collections has commenced, and three shipments of publications
and original artwork have been sent. I compiled a number of spreadsheets
listing additional publications for the Archivist's review and selection, and am
waiting to hear back from them. Compiling the spreadsheets has been a fair bit of
work, but they are useful in a number of ways, including inventory, appraisal,
indexing, and insurance.
A selection of Sim solstice greeting cards:
RGBK(Y) Mandala, Frosty Window, First Winter, West End in Winter, Tangled, Snow on Elms
The University of Victoria was selected because they are very interested in
collecting material in the field of BC art history. Robert Amos, the well-known
Victoria artist, writer, and biographer of E.J. Hughes, donated a huge collection
of ephemera to them, and senior Vancouver artist Pnina Granirer also donated a significant
amount of her personal archives. Robert encouraged me to contact U.Vic., and they were
enthusiastic about receiving donations from my BC ARTISTS collection. So far so good!
A selection of Sim solstice greeting cards:
Angleman & the Lights Tangle, Twin Trees in Winter, Decorated Tree, Peace, Snow, Universolmas
Many thanks are due to all of the people who have supported me this year in my
BC Artists project, including:
Touchstones Museum & Gallery, Nelson, for catalogue donations
Robert Amos and Touchwood Editions, Victoria, for research support and donations of E.J. Hughes books
Private donor, North Vancouver, for donation of the Savary Pudding
Private donor, North Vancouver, for donation of art school Prospectii, exhibition catalogues, and artist fond
Vancouver Art Gallery Library and Archives, for research support
Private donor, Ottawa ON, for ongoing support
Vancouver artist Pnina Granirer, for donation of a number of hard-to-find catalogues and publications
Lara Wilson, Director Special Collections/Archivist, University of Victoria, for accepting donations
The Ferry Building Gallery, West Vancouver, for engaging me to lecture on BC ARTISTS
West Vancouver Museum & Archives, for research support
And, especially, thanks to all of the people who have kept going this year
despite all of the difficulties and restrictions.
In these pandemic times I hope you are all healthy and well. Best wishes for the
holiday season, and a safe and happy new year!
OCT. 12: MODERN IN THE MAKING
This large exhibition shows a wide variety of British Columbia art, design, pottery,
and jewellery that was hand crafted between the mid-1940s and the mid-1970s by
B.C. craftspeople. The exhibition is on at the Vancouver Art Gallery until January
3 2021, and is highly recommended for a visit. The show is accompanied by a very well
produced exhibition catalogue, illustrated throughout in colour. The catalogue includes
biographical summaries of all artists who are represented in the exhibition.
Installation views courtesy Co-Curator Allan Collier.
SEPT. 20: THE E.J. HUGHES BOOK OF BOATS
Cover photograph provided courtesy of Touchwood Editions.
I have always had a love of the sea, and of the boats and ships that ply its salty waters.
The ocean was part of my growing up in the port city of Vancouver. In bed on foggy
nights I could hear the low mournful sound of the Point Atkinson foghorn blowing its
warning to sailors, and the same fog crept inland and wrapped our
neighbourhood in its salty grasp.
Ferries, fishboats, and recreational vessels have also been a part of my life, starting
with sailing on the M.V. Hollyburn (a retired West Vancouver passenger ferry) up
the North Arm of Burrard Inlet to Camp Howdy in 1958. Later on I "messed with boats"
and at one time or another owned a Laser sailboat, a canoe, and a dory. So, when I
first became aware of the art of E.J. Hughes many years ago, I fell in love with it as well.
It is fair to say that I can't get enough of it!
THE E.J. HUGHES BOOK OF BOATS (ISBN 9781771513364 hardcover, $22.00 Cdn)
written by Robert Amos, has just been published by
Touchwood Editions in both a lovely little
hardcover book as well as an electronic version. I was very happy to hear from the
author that this was coming out, as the coastal artworks by Hughes seem to come alive
with all of the craft that he paints with such obvious love.
The book is 88 pages, consisting mostly of illustrations of artwork by Hughes. Although
this might seem to be an insufficient number of pages, the focus on boats - big and small -
actually allows the book to provide a comprehensive look at this specific topic.
The illustrations are accompanied by photographs of Hughes
and his family, and places that he painted. Pencil sketches and studies for paintings
provide interesting historical background, as does the informative text by Robert Amos.
Quotations from the artist's correspondence and interviews give a glimpse of what
Hughes was thinking at the time.
E.J. Hughes 1996, photograph by Sarah Amos.
E.J. Hughes was born in North Vancouver in 1913, but lived
in Nanaimo for ten years before returning to North Vancouver to go to school. He had an
early interest in art, and took some private lessons from Mrs.
M.O. Verral. He enrolled in the Vancouver School of Art,
and graduated in 1933, which was followed by two years of post-graduate studies. After working as a
team with Paul Goranson and
Orville Fisher, Hughes enrolled in the Canadian army in 1939.
He was appointed as an offical war artist in 1942, and was demobilised in 1946. After
returning to the west coast, he spent most of the rest of his life living on Vancouver
Island, where he passed away in 2007.
E.J. Hughes has slowly reached a prominent status in Canadian art, and it is a well-deserved
and hard-earned reputation. A growing number of books on Hughes attest to the public's interest in
his work. THE E.J. HUGHES BOOK OF BOATS is a valuable and attractive addition to this library.
Village Wharf, E.J. Hughes 2004
Photograph provided courtesy of Touchwood Editions
SEPT. 19: WE ARE NOT ALONE EXHIBITION AT INTERIOR ART GALLERY
Earlier this year I received an email asking me if I
wanted to submit artwork to an upcoming international exhibition titled WE ARE NOT ALONE,
which would consist of artists' responses to the global coronavirus pandemic. I thought
this was an excellent idea well worth supporting, and donated one of my original
Adventures of Noman drawings.
The Adventures of Noman - CONNECTIONS by Gary Sim, 2019
Pen & ink, india ink brushpen on paper.
They received over 250 submissions for the exhibition
from over 180 artists, which is quite amazing. The exhibition opened
on September 18, and will be on display there until November 8 2020. A website is being
written that will be posted soon, and show all of the works in the exhibition.
When the exhibition closes in Penticton, it is already booked to be exhibited in
Berlin, Germany, and Nice, France, in 2021. More exhibition venues are in the works.
All of the artworks were donated by the artists, and will form a permanent
collection of the works in the exhibition.
This is the first time in our recorded history that everyone on the planet has been
impacted by the same thing at the same time, and as COVID 19 continues to wreak havoc
across the globe we have been confronted not only with our vulnerability but that of
our communities and social structure. We have been reminded of the importance of human
and social contact, physical connection and the shared experience. Never before have
we faced so much uncertainty, and it is incredible watching the entire human population
being brought to a standstill by an enemy that we canít see, touch, smell, taste or hear.
Sadly, we are reminded on a daily basis that no one is immune to this pandemic, and we
hope this exhibition will help us to get through this time by allowing us to collectively share
our stories, celebrate our diversity, mourn our losses and heal as a planet.
AUG. 17: SOME OF THE DREAM SNAKES
Once I started hand colouring these impressions, I discovered that there are
a lot of different ways to colour them: linear, spiral, diamond, and banded
in various geometric patterns, as well as in a multitude of colours. I've posted
the first batch of them on ETSY.com, please click link in the following news item
to view details.
AUG. 11: GarySimStudio OPENS ON ETSY
After some research about how to proceed with selling artwork in the current climate
of social distancing and event cancellations, I decided to open a store on ETSY.COM.
It's quite a powerful sales platform, with (they say) 1.7 millions vendors and billions
of dollars in sales. The advantages to me as a seller include: exposure to a global
audience that is already using the platform; simple enrollment in a sales plan where
ETSY provides a dozen ways for purchasers to buy on-line; automatic weekly payments
on sales; and free advertising, with a small commission on sales resulting from the ads.
In the first few hours today I had 14 views and 3 visits, before I told anyone about it.
I'm still tweaking the store information and adding more artwork for sale.
Please click on the link below to visit my new store!
AUG. 1: MARIACHI BAND ON BARCLAY
I was sitting at my desk one evening three weeks ago when music started playing outside
on the sidewalk. It was a 5-piece mariachi band, serenading a couple who had
just announced their engagement. I think the band was LOS DORADOS, although I'm
not certain. They played for around 20 minutes or more, and were really good
musicians. All the songs were fully arranged with various solos and flourishes,
their timing was impeccable, and great vocals. A fabulous free concert! And all
best wishes to the happy couple!
JULY 15: THE SAVARY PUDDING SURFACES AFTER 80 YEARS
The Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art + Design) used
to travel to Savary Island for summer art camps in the 1930s. While there, a daily
broadsheet called THE SAVARY PUDDING was written or drawn, then posted on the
walls of the Royal Savary Hotel for review. A collection of these was recently
brought to my attention, and I am in the process of posting some images and
text from the collection.
JULY 9: BC ARTISTS PRESS RELEASE
BC ARTS POST
I recently sent out a BC ARTISTS press release through the BC Alliance for Arts + Culture,
it is available to read at the website link above. I wasn't expecting all of the CV
information to be included, but I don't think it hurt! Now that I've done one of
them I'll know better how to do any further news releases. So far, the main result
from this news release has been a number of artists getting in touch with me to
have themselves listed in BC ARTISTS, which I have done.
JULY 8: POSTER FOR ART SHOW
I noticed this little handbill posted on a nearby telephone pole for an exhibition at
the Outsiders and Others Gallery at 716 East Hastings St.
JULY 7: LOCAL BAR RE-OPENS AS BeSIDE
One of the small sorrows of the virus age was that my local brew-pub TIMBER
closed permanently a few months ago. I see that the location has re-opened as
BeSIDE, affiliated with the hotel's restaurant FORAGE. They don't have a
full menu, but wings and ribs, fries and salads along with beer should do
the trick. They are currently open from Tuesday to Sunday, 3:00 p.m. to
10:00 p.m., at the corner of Jervis and Robson. Seating has been spaced as
required for social distancing.
JULY 6: VANCOUVER IS AWESOME BLOG ON BC ARTISTS
I was browsing the internet and came across this article on the VANCOUVER IS AWESOME
blog. As a member of the BC Alliance for Arts + Culture I posted a news release
related to putting BC ARTISTS on-line for free public access. It was nice to see
Brendan Kergin's post! It was a pleasant surprise to see how many times the article
had been shared in the 10 days since it was posted. The power of social media!
I hadn't seen the community rating system before, so it was also gratifying to see
the story rated as "very" or "extremely" important to the people who took the time
to comment and to share the posting. Thank you all very much. Note: the article
also included a direct link to BC ARTISTS, the image above has been cropped.
Update: as of August 20 the post has been shared 423 times! Thank you.
JULY 1: UBC LIBRARY LINK TO BC ARTISTS PROJECT
I found another on-line link posted to my BC ARTISTS
project, this one from the University of British Columbia Library, thank you!
JUNE 29: ANOTHER STANLEY PARK WALK
It turned out to be a nice warm sunny morning, so I decided to start the day with a walk
in the park. It had actually been quite a long time since I'd gone over and wandered around
the old zoo area in Stanley Park, and I had no idea how much of the original zoo was
left. It turns out that the only remaining part of the old zoo is the polar
bear enclosure (bears arrived 1962). The monkey house is gone, the seal pool is
gone, the snakes and birds building is gone, the otter pool and ramps are gone.
The Aquarium is the only show left in that part of the park now, not even a popcorn stand.
I also wandered through the rose garden, some roses just coming out and other already
past their prime, despite this seeming like the first day of summer!
JUNE 27: MALASPINA PRINTMAKERS SOCIETY RE-OPENING
I received an email this morning from Malaspina Printmakers Society on
Granville Island, they have re-opened the studio and gallery to artists
and to the public. There will be a limited number of visitors allowed in
the gallery, and artists must make reservations for studio work. Although
the prints for sale will not be viewable in person, they are all posted on
the MPS website. I was pleased to see that the feature print in the
newsletter was my Lions in Summer print from last year. Refer to
MPS website for current opening hours and exhibitions.
MALASPINA PRINTMAKERS SOCIETY
JUNE 20: DRAFT CHAPBOOK COVER IMAGES
Working to conceptualize a series of autobiographical chapbooks, divided into
different stages of my life, or specific categories of stories to tell. The
Early Years will cover up to age 20; Making My Way the next few years of life
and work; The Later Years will cover 30 years of architectural work; Some
West Coast Tales will include stories about the West Coast Trail, Sombrio Point,
Haida Gwaii, and Bamfield Marine Station; Foreign Affairs will include trips
to Montreal, the United States, England, and Morocco; and Looking for Maud will be
the story of my biographical hunt for an artist's history. Another chapter
titled Climbing Mount Waddington is illustrated a couple of news item below this one.
Elevator shaft at The Prime, Surrey
A scene in Fez, Morocco, the oldest walled city in Africa
Me almost getting washed away at Sombrio Point, Vancouver Island
A view of Shalalth BC
Mace Point, Savary Island
One of my Grade One artworks
JUNE 18: A WALK AROUND LOST LAGOON
With the sun out for a change, the air finally a few degrees warmer, and me
feeling a little too big around the waist, I went for a nature walk around
Lost Lagoon. Lots of baby birds in the water, perpetually cute, and at least
six young squirrels were terrorizing the tourists for handouts on the arched bridge.
One of a gang of aggressive young red squirrels working the bridge for handouts.
This was a friendly little duck, it waddled over to check me out.
JUNE 17: A VISIT TO PNINA GRANIRER
Some of the donation.
I arranged to have a studio visit with Vancouver artist Pnina Granirer yesterday.
She wanted to donate a number of publications to me for addition to BC ARTISTS, and
the simplest way to do that was go over and have a visit. We gabbed away for over
three hours, and she gave me 21 books and pamphlets, and 3 posters. A few of them
are for exhibitions of Canadian artists in places like Chile and Yugoslavia, which
would be virtually impossible to find otherwise.
PNINA GRANIRER WEBSITE
JUNE 16: UPDATE ON LANDMARK ON ROBSON STREET
Now that they've dug the hole on Robson Street, they're filling it in. Doesn't make any sense.
JUNE 15: WORKING ON A CHAPBOOK
Draft cover layout, photo courtesy Douglas Welch
For some time I've been working on a story about climbing Mount Waddington
in 1978. It was quite an amazing experience, with lots of tales to tell, and
I had about 180 photographs that I'd taken during the expedition. The five
rolls of 36-exposure film were a mix of colour print film (Kodacolour),
colour slide film (Kodachrome), and black and white print film (Ilford HP-5).
When I started writing, I scanned the old prints that I'd had made shortly
after the climb. The prints had aged, and I liked the way they looked. Later,
I scanned some colour slides directly from the slides, and these had a much
brighter and true-to-colour look.
The project reached a certain point, becoming one of a number of similar
documents in progress intended to be merged as a chapter into an auto-biography.
I printed it out in colour, and put it aside. Other projects like writing and
self publishing Railway Rock Gang came along. The only public mention of the
climb was a line item on my website CV in the "education" section. Last year
I was contacted by one of the people who had been on the climb, Douglas
Welch, who had looked for Waddington on the internet and found my one little
note about it.
We got together for a couple of drinks and to catch up on the climb, what we
remembered, who we still knew, and so on. He had scanned a number of his own
photographs, and showed them to me on his laptop computer. They were really
good pictures, such as the one shown above, and he gave me digital copies of
them to use as I wished, after I sent him a copy of my writing project. Spurred
on by this I slowly started to update, expand, and completely re-format the
chapter I'd been working on into an actual book of its own. What was also
interesting about meeting Doug again was that we had worked together in 2007 as
consultants on the Squamish-Lil'Wat Cultural Centre in Whistler. He had been the
theatrical consultant for the 85-seat theatre and stage, and I
was doing contract administration for the architects. Despite all of the
meetings we were in together, we didn't recognize each other from the climb
thirty years earlier.
JUNE 8: IMAGES FROM BC ARTISTS POSTED ON ONE PAGE FOR REVIEW
Some of the 700+ images in BC ARTISTS
I finally spent some time putting together links to all images in BC ARTISTS, so that
they could be viewed in one file, sort of a visual smorgasbord. All images are linked to
files that provide information and context. The are loosely sorted into artist photographs,
research photographs, artwork images, and ephemera images.
BC ARTIST IMAGES
MAY 21: SIM ARTWORK NOW HOME FROM PACIFIC ARTS MARKET
After four and a half months, I took my artwork back from Pacific
Arts Market. The business is a great idea, and they have managed to keep
it operating through this difficult time. However, the COVID-19
social distancing and business shutdowns affected them a lot, they quit holding
events and workshops, and closed for two weeks in April. I didn't sell a
single artwork, so it was a fiscal failure for me but an interesting experiment.
And now I have extra gridwall panels for future exhibitions.
MAY 18: FLYOVER VANCOUVER
One of the few planes that flew directly overhead
It seemed like a perfect day for the memorial flyover of Vancouver on May 18th,
that was held to commemorate the loss of life in the Snowbirds crash in Kamloops.
Apparently quite a few small aircraft participated, and from my West
End apartment I could hear them buzzing all around the harbour. Only a few
went directly overhead, and were difficult to photograph. I wished them all
a safe flight back home.
MAY 8: FOUR SIM ARTWORKS UP FOR AUCTION
This is a chance to acquire original Sim artwork at a bargain price! Three limited edition
prints and a multi-media drawing are now available for on-line bidding at:
LEVIS ONLINE AUCTION
AUCTION IS NOW CLOSED. 3 of 4 ARTWORKS SOLD, THANK YOU!
MAY 8: A "NEW" MAUD SHERMAN WATERCOLOUR
Untitled watercolour by Maud Rees Sherman
A friend that I hadn't heard from in a while phoned me last week, wondering if
I would be interested in acquiring a Maud Sherman watercolour from him. I said
that I would, and we got together (at 2 meter spacing) to catch up on gossip and
exchange money for art. The painting is in a nice old wood frame by Hughes
Photo Studio, 2113 West 41st Ave., Vancouver. The business was only at that
address from 1932 to 1936, which nicely helps to date the image. So far I've
been unable to identify the location of the log cabin.
MAY 4: A SMATTERING OF SPRING PHOTOGRAPHS
Does the sky look blue again? View from my balcony, late afternoon sun on Cappadocian Maple trees
I love this old neon sign on a corner store down the block
A little gazebo in a park across the road
Signs of the times: COVID-19 distancing on the left, invasive japanese beetle larvicide spraying on the right
My Pothos plant after a spray water wash
Posing my Pothos plant for a drawing, prior to taking cuttings
Recent cherry blossoms with stupid and needless traffic control sign
What does a drawer full of relief print blocks look like?
View of the art cave: working on BC Artists, surrounded by artwork and art books
MAY 1: BC ARTISTS PROJECT REFERENCED BY VANCOUVER ART GALLERY LIBRARY
The Vancouver Art Gallery Library and Archives recently revised their web page for online references,
to add a link directly to Sim Publishing's BC Artists project. This is very much
appreciated, the word is slowly seeping out about the project being online, and links
like this help a lot.
Number 3 on the reference hit parade!
APRIL 25: BC ARTISTS PROJECT REACHES MAJOR BENCHMARK
It has been eighteen years since I started writing web pages for what would eventually
become my BC ARTISTS project. It began as a
list of artists who had exhibited artwork in
Vancouver prior to 1950, based on bibliographic references.
I started to transcribe exhibition catalogues, and every artist in the catalogue would
get their own biography file, listing their artwork.
I kept finding more catalogues, though, and more artists, more artist groups, more
exhibition venues. The list of artists kept growing, and so did the number of biographies,
as well as the amount of information cumulatively added to the biographies.
The index finally reached over 1,700 artists some years ago, and today I just finished
transcribing and linking the last catalogue, the Vancouver Art Gallery's 1950
19th Annual B.C. Artists' exhibition.
This catalogue incurred the creation of the last 16 biography files in the original
index. Every artist in the index now has their own biography file. Job well done!
I have to confess, I didn't think I would spend anything like this amount of time on
the project. Just doing the last catalogue and tidying up loose ends took me ten
hours of continuous work.
The whole project has taken thousands of hours, cost thousands of dollars, referenced
thousands of publications, and listed over nineteen thousand artists. A friend
recently referred to me as a "completist" and I thought it was a point well taken.
I actually would have finished this part of the project a long time ago, except that
I kept making extensive digressions and expansions along the way, such as
listing the 17,000+ post-1950 artists in the A to Z index.
Other digressions along the way included:
compiling a list of art school students and graduates up to 1950
transcribing the Island Arts & Crafts Society list of exhibitors
transcribing the West Vancouver Sketch Club list of members
transcribing and adding to the list of Greater Vancouver Art Galleries
indexing the 1977 Visual Artists of B.C. (2,200 artists)
compiling a series of Occasional Papers including
Art & Framing Stores of Vancouver
Anyway, I think you get the picture, 'nuf said.
APRIL 23: THREE MORE SIM ARTWORKS UP FOR AUCTION
This was a chance to acquire original Sim artwork at a bargain price! Two limited edition
prints and a multi-media drawing are now available for on-line bidding at:
APRIL 25 UPDATE: the auction has closed, and I am happy to report that all three of
these artworks sold, and will be going to a new home. Thank you to those who bid!
Time of Change
APRIL 12: A PHOTO SHOOT ON ROBSON STREET
I had to go out to put two packages in the mail, so off to the postal outlet
on Robson Street, taking a route that would not go by the Haro Park Lodge. I
took my camera along in case there were any interesting images. The vast majority
of stores are closed now, and many of them have been boarded up with plywood, as
if there is going to be civil disorder soon.
Looking east at 1000-block, everything on the right is boarded up.
Even the stupid little "parklets" are closed.
This is a good idea: "one man's hoarding is another man's floor"
There is a definite lack of "plenty" now.
This looks like we've had another hockey riot. Is this really necessary?
I guess the person putting up "closed" signs didn't have "remove welcome signs" in their scope of work.
APRIL 11: GREATER VANCOUVER ART GALLERIES LIST UPDATED
One of the ongoing BC ARTISTS works-in-progress
is the input and update for the
document Greater Vancouver Art Galleries. This was
originally compiled by Bill Jeffries at SFU, but was not completed when work on
the document stopped in 2012. Bill gave me a copy of the list, which I heavily
annotated over the years to the point where some pages were almost illegible.
I input the first half of it last year, then moved on to other things. I finally
spent a couple of days finishing input for the second half. This included going
through hundreds of pieces of art ephemera looking for galleries and
exhibitions to add to the list, as well as adding scores of links to
BC ARTISTS exhibitions and artist biographies.
The list is not complete, and probably can never be complete, but this is as close
to a comprehensive list of local art galleries - public and private - as you will find,
with particular emphasis on galleries that existed from 1950 to 2010.
APRIL 10: PACIFIC ARTS MARKET CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
One day after I paid for another month's renewal at the Pacific Arts Market, I
received an email stating that they are temporarily closed, and the store has
been boarded up. UPDATE: the store is open again as of April 23.
John Kyle drawing
APRIL 9: MAJOR UPDATES TO BC ARTISTS UPLOADED
Another positive result of being self-isolated at home is that I've been able to
make a series of updates to BC ARTISTS, transcribing a total of 21 additional
early exhibition catalogues from the 1930s and 1940s. With a total of 207
catalogues now fully transcribed and linked to artist biographies, there are
over 15,000 artworks individually listed by title, medium, and price (if noted).
Another 40 artist biographies were created as part of this work, and many more updated
with additional exhibitions and artwork.
Eight of the catalogues are for BC Society of Fine Arts Annual Exhibitions,
these new listings complete the annual exhibitions from 1935 to 1950. Five of the catalogues
are for the Vancouver Art Gallery's BC Artists annual exhibitions,
I am working to complete this series to 1950 as well, and have transcribed 22 of them
from 1932 to 1948, with only 6 to go! Sixteen post-1950 catalogues have also been added,
and 72 artists newly referenced from them.
Refer to BC ARTISTS 2020 UPDATES page for additional information.
APRIL 2: MY PRINTING PRESS FINALLY IDENTIFIED!
One of my earliest news items on this website was the 2004 purchase of a press,
that I wanted to use for making linocut relief prints. The only identifying mark on the
press was a cast diamond shape, with an indistinct logo or letter in the middle, which
could have been a C, D, G, S, or something else entirely like a hexagon. I looked online for a
mark like that, and also for presses, nipping presses, book presses, whatever I
could think of. No luck, so I gave up.
J. Smart Copying Press
This week, stuck at home self-isolating and trying to to keep myself safe from the virus,
I was washing my old family frying pan, and wondered about the manufacturer. The bottom
had the name SMART embossed on it, and BROCKVILLE ONT as well. In the middle of the
bottom is an embossed circle, with a diamond shape inside that, and an obscure letter
inside that, which I hadn't noticed before. So, I looked up the name online.
Underside of J. Smart Copying Press
It turns out that J. Smart Manufacturing made both my frying pan and my press!
I found an old Smart catalogue online, and in the 1880s they had 5 series of what they called
COPYING PRESSES, with a number of different models in each series. A website about
cast iron in Canada notes that this logo was only used between 1886 and 1912, which
makes the frypan and press each over 100 years old! The letter in the middle is a "G",
which stands for Gill, a previous owner of the company. Made in Canada, and still in
perfect working order. Smart made a lot of different series
of frying pans, but not that many of them seem to have wood handles. The number 9
refers to the diameter of the flat bottom of the frying pan.
Underside of J. Smart #9 frying pan with 12" rule
Detail - underside of J. Smart #9 frying pan
It's funny in a way, I've had the frying pan for about 50 years, but it was in
my family long before that. I've cooked many meals with it, including the chili
I whomped up last week. Since I acquired the copying press I have made well over
1,000 impressions with it, it performs perfectly and reliably, just like the
MAR. 29: WEST END CHEERING FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS
A few nights ago, somebody had the idea to have a public cheer, at 7 p.m., for the healthcare
workers who are in the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. The first night
was a bit quiet, but it has since caught on. Last night's cheer went on continuously
for more than 5 minutes, and there was scattered cheering and honking for another
five minutes after that. It was quite impressive. The video below is just 40
seconds of the cheering last night, seen (heard) from my balcony on Barclay Street.
Haro Park Lodge, one of the epicentres of the disease hear, is just two blocks away,
St. Paul's Hospital 6 blocks, Sunset Towers Retirement Centre is 3 blocks down Barclay, it
must be heartening for people in those facilities to hear this!
MAR. 18: COVID-19 UPDATE
A lot of things are happening quite quickly now regarding the COVID-19 illness.
It was confirmed by the Ecology Society this morning that my
art show and linocut demo this coming weekend at the Lost Lagoon Nature House
has been cancelled as part of the overall closures of Vancouver Parks Board
facilities. We are all hopeful that this event can be held after the emergency.
With all Vancouver Community and Rec Centres now closed indefinitely, the
ART IN THE CITY event on May 1 to 3 is officially cancelled. As well, I
was accepted to have work in the West End Community Centre's lobby display case,
but with the centre closed that won't happen.
Of course this is not all about ME. Best wishes to those people who now
find themselves out of work, all the folks who work in libraries, schools, rec centres,
restaurants, bars, museums, etc. Even better wishes to all those people who
work in health care services - you will need all the help you can get.
Posted MAR. 7: THREE SIM ARTWORKS UP FOR AUCTION AT INVALUABLE.COM
This was a chance to acquire original Sim artwork at a bargain price! Two etchings of
Savary Island, and a watercolour of Savary Island, are available for bidding at:
UPDATE: the auction has ended, both etchings were purchased. Thank you!
Edge of the Forest
Posted MAR. 5: CANCELLED: NATURE HOUSE ART EXHIBITION & LINOCUT WORKSHOP
Posted MAR. 3: LINOCUT WORKSHOPS AT PACIFIC ARTS MARKET
MAR. 1: TRIAL PROOFS OF NEW LINOCUTS
I saw this spider web ten years ago in Barclay Park, it was huge! The snake is
imaginary. Test proofs are in progress for these two prints.
FEB. 28: SIM ARTWORK DISPLAY AT PACIFIC ARTS MARKET EXTENDED AGAIN
We have renewed our space at the PACIFIC ARTS MARKET for another four weeks, until
MARCH 31st. It made sense to keep the display up for a while longer to allow more
folks the chance to view it, especially after the amount of work that it took to
organize and put it up!
A number of people have been asking about the process used
to create the relief prints that are on display, I going to do a workshop and demonstration
on linocut printing on March 15 at the market. If you are interested in attending this
event (details pending), please email either Sim Publishing or Pacific Arts Market to
let us know you are interested.
FEB. 26: SIM ARTWORK ACCEPTED TO ART IN THE CITY
I applied for the 2020 ART IN THE CITY event that is being held at the West End
Community Centre from May 1 to 3, 2020, and have been accepted. I was part of the
inaugural Art in the City event in 2006, so it's been quite a while since I put my
work in the show.
Please refer to EVENTS page for more information about the
venue and the event itself.
JAN. 22: SIM ARTWORK DISPLAY AT PACIFIC ARTS MARKET EXTENDED
We have renewed our space at the PACIFIC ARTS MARKET for another four weeks, until
MARCH 3rd. It made sense to keep the display up for a while longer to allow more
folks the chance to view it, especially after the amount of work that it took to
organize and put it up! A number of people have been asking about the process used
to create the relief prints that are on display, we may do a workshop or demonstration
on linocut printing in February. If you are interested in this, please email either
Sim Publishing or Pacific Arts Market.
JAN. 19: FIESTA AT PACIFIC ARTS MARKET
It was FIESTA day at the art market yesterday. The pinata event was quite funny, the pinata
was not willing to break open, and it finally had to be beaten to pieces. A fair
number of people showed up during the afternoon, and lots of interesting conversations
A view of the front half of the art market
The Sim artwork display
JAN. 18: ARTIST GORDON SMITH PASSES AWAY AT HOME
Gordon Smith, one of the icons of British Columbia art, passed away at home
in West Vancouver, B.C., on Jan. 18.
He had a wide variety of output, including prints, drawings, and paintings. Over
the decades that he was active his work continuously evolved and changed, he was not
content to paint the same thing over and over. He will be missed.
From an article in Canadian Art magazine, 1956
JAN. 15: BC ARTISTS NOTED BY BC HISTORICAL FEDERATION
The BC Historical Federation supports all of the historical societies and groups
in British Columbia. Sim Publishing has been a corporate sponsor for a few years,
and in 2013 was awarded the Federation's Certificate of Merit for BC Artists. They
noted the posting in their monthly e-mail newsletter, with a direct link to the project.
JAN. 14: THE PATIO IS CLOSED
We've had a few bouts of snowfall in the past few days, always an interesting experience.
As usual, it started with wet snow falling on un-frozen roads, which turned to wet slime. Then
it froze overnight, making a number of free but lumpy skating rinks. Then we got another
6 or 8 inches of snow on top of the ice. It's all very pretty, but public transit falls
apart here in the snow, and there was almost no traffic downtown yesterday. Those who did
venture out reported that it took an hour to get where they would normally go in 10 minutes.
JAN. 13: BC ARTISTS TWEETED BY VAG LIBRARY & ARCHIVES
A screen capture of the tweet
Jane Devine Mejia, Chief Librarian at the Vancouver Art Gallery, very kindly posted
a tweet about my BC ARTISTS project being on-line. Within an hour there were
over 200 "reads" of the tweet. The next day she emailed me to say that there had
been 3,300 reads in the first 24 hours! One person in Scotland was quite
excited to find the biography of Charles Hepburn Scott,
as they are lecturing about him on February 1.
A longer version of the tweet was posted on the Library & Archives blog, per below.
A screen capture of the blog
JAN. 10: NEW PRINT MORNING OWL ISSUED
JAN. 8: NEW PRINT SKYLINE ISSUED
JAN. 5: NEW YEAR GREETING
Hello! Best wishes to you and yours in this new year / new decade. Sim Publishing
is looking forward to a year filled with making new art, marketing, and sales.
The recent upload of BC ARTISTS project to the internet is starting to get responses
from various facilities:
We are busy preparing for our display at the Pacific
Arts Market starting on Wednesday Jan. 8, see news item below for more information.
Another print titled MORNING OWL has been cut and trial proofed, and will be posted
as soon as the ink is dry enough to allow scanning. Another new print SKYLINE is
also ready to be editioned. Another design has been laid out and is ready for cutting,
although not until after the display is up at the Pacific Arts Market.
We forgot to mention that late last year Sim Publishing donated 60 books and exhibition
catalogues to an interior art gallery, to help build their library.
Research is ongoing for the powerpoint presentation at the
Ferry Building Gallery in West Vancouver on Feb. 20, from 7 - 9 p.m., on early artists
of the North Shore. See events page for more information.
DEC. 28: NEW PRINT KOULOU ISSUED
DEC. 22: SIM ARTWORK AT PACIFIC ARTS MARKET IN JANUARY
After joining the B.C. Alliance for Arts (see item below) I was looking at their website,
and noticed an advertisement for artists wanted at the
Pacific Arts Market, located at
1448 West Broadway, Vancouver. Since I was going over that way to do something at
my credit union, I decided to drop in and say hello.
Although the weather was horribly dark and raining, it was warm and friendly inside,
where I met the Crystal, the Manager. I showed her my collection of recent prints, and she
was quite interested in representing me. We agreed on a 4-week period, from
January 8 to February 4, 2020.
I went by again yesterday to finalize the paperwork, the weather had changed to
sunny and cold, which was much better. Crystal was having a Christmas event, complete
with Santa Claus and treats. She also plans other events such as paint-in's, workshops,
demonstrations, and other holiday happenings. I bought a lovely little original
pen & ink drawing by Stephanie B. Creative, matted and framed, for $38.00 ... !
Hope you can drop by in January! See their website for more information.
DEC. 21: SIM PUBLISHING JOINS B.C. ALLIANCE FOR ARTS
I have been thinking of joining the B.C.
Alliance for Arts for some time, and it finally
seemed to make sense to proceed. They provide a lot of services to those involved
in the arts. For example, I intend to use their press release service to promote
the posting of BC Artists, as they have a massive contact list for distribution.
They also have free job postings and classified ads for members, and a members list
which I am now on.