Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

August 7, 2021

This article looks at the life of Vancouver artist Sing Lim and includes the artwork contributed by the Lim family. Click on the headline to access the full story. – Janet Nicol

Making History Visible

July 16, 2021

by Janet Nicol

A pair of exhibitions by Vancouver artists Cindy Mochizuki and Henry Tsang at the Surrey Art Gallery offer powerful meditations on Japanese Canadian internment during the Second World War. Both artists have a personal interest in exploring Asian Canadian histories and both use cameras and projection technologies effectively in their work.

The full review is at the Galleries West magazine website –

Celebrating Dundarave Print Workshop & Binning – a cultural mover and shaker

April 23, 2021

by Janet Nicol

Dundarave Print Workshop turns 50

April 3, 2021

A booklet gives the history of the workshop, written by Janet Nicol, designed and produced by Lone Tratt. $20 (TR Trades, Vancouver, 2021.)

Dundarave Print Workshop, a gallery-studio on Granville Island, celebrates 50 years as the oldest, continuous printmaking workshop in British Columbia. A limited edition history of the printmakers’ non-profit collective, with photographs and a cover print, is available for purchase at the front counter. Check hours of business at the DPW website. Also note: Copies also for sale on Granville Island at Malaspina Print Workshop, Opus Art Supplies and Upstart and Crow books.

Also watch for an upcoming on-line article in Montecristo magazine about the origins of the workshop out of a garage in the West Vancouver neighbourhood of Dundarave. Bert Charles Binning (1909-2976), a renowned artist and “mover and shaker”in Vancouver’s cultural community, was the driving force behind setting up the workshop, along with Wayne Eastcott, a professional artist, now residing in Japan.

Art for the Holidays

December 16, 2020

by Janet Nicol

From Winnipeg to Sydney on Vancouver Island, check out this holiday shopping round-up, available on-line at Galleries West magazine. (link below.) You will find great gift ideas based on my telephone interviews with gallery owners and artisan shop keepers across the West, all with the same message: shop local and support Canada’s art community.

Merry holidays and here’s to a bright 2021.

Sheena Lott, “Silence in the Snow,” no date; acrylic on canvas, 20″ x 20″ (courtesan Peninsula Gallery, Sidney, BC)

Sybil in Cycles

November 29, 2020

I am pleased to have an abbreviated biographical account of British-Canadian Sybil Andrews’ artistic life published in a gem of a twice-yearly chapbook out of Ontario, “The Devil’s Artisan.” (Winter, 2020)

According to the DA website, “We reach out to a global audience of typographic and printing arts enthusiasts who appreciate the value of the printed word even in this digital age.” More info about the journal is available on their website at –

Print copies also available at the Vancouver downtown Chapters Indigo’s magazine section.

The History of Nursing in BC

May 28, 2020

“Be Kind, Calm and Safe” J.M. Nicol 2020 (oil on embossed Japanese Mulberry paper)


As a participant in the BC Labour Heritage Centre curriculum project, I developed a lesson on the history of nursing in BC, entitled “The Professionals.” It is available, at no cost, at “TeachBC”   Search for:  “The Professionals.”   A 3 minutes video of the same title, can be downloaded at the BC Labour Heritage Centre site as well.

Season’s Greetings

December 7, 2019

Linocut (A/P) Russian church in Strathcona, Vancouver. J.M. Nicol

Original print (1/1) Available at Dundarave Print Workshop $10 SOLD

BC Artists: On or Under the Radar

August 27, 2019

by Janet Nicol

My recently published book about artist Sybil Andrews joins a growing list of biographies and memoirs of BC artists who have dedicated their life to creativity, experiencing an array of struggles and successes along the way.

Check out  Off the Page, part of  ‘49th Shelf,’ an on-line publishers’ website where I recommend eight other reads, all beautifully illustrated with the artists’ work. Link at –

Also, the following is a write-up about my book in Preview, an art magazine available at no cost in galleries around BC:

ON THE CURVE: THE LIFE AND ART OF SYBIL ANDREWS is historian Janet Nicol’s deeply researched account of an outstanding artist whose career has cycled in and out of critical focus. The book traces Andrews’ progress from her Suffolk childhood and her art education in London through her enthusiastic embrace of the democratic medium of the linoleum block print. Nicol’s focus is on Andrews’ life and impact after World War II in the then-isolated community of Campbell River, and her eventual international recognition.

Softcover, 158 pp., C$28.95. Available at bookstores, or

Link to Preview page at –

Many thanks to the Killarney Secondary (Vancouver) book club for hosting a talk this January, 2020.

Attention teachers and aspiring teen writers! – Check out my 5 minute video at the BC Teacher Librarians Association website,  part of a writers’ series providing resources for high school students during the pandemic.    I talk about my book, writing non-fiction and give a few writing tips.  Here’s the link –

FLASH SALE:  More news about “On the Curve” – June 2020 – Caitlin Press is offering a sale on books and starting June 1 “On the Curve” will be among the art and food books to kick off the event.  According to Caitlin Press, ” Each Flash Sale will be a unique theme, so this will be the only chance to get the book at this discounted rate. Every 2 weeks from June 1 to September 4, we’ll feature 10 titles—discounted up to 50% off.”

More info at Caitlin Press website.




Drawbridge – a book review

July 26, 2019

Drawbridge: Drawing Alongside My Brother’s Schizophrenia
by Joan Boxall Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019

Reviewed by Janet Nicol

A memoir told in ten lyrical essays, Drawbridge: Drawing Alongside My Brother’s Schizophrenia is Joan Boxall’s moving tribute to her brother, Stephen Corcoran. In the early 2000s, Joan became co-trustee of Stephen following the death of their parents. So began her enlightening ten-year journey supporting a brother with a mental illness. Joan intersperses research, observations, and thoughts with her poetry, each essay framed within a theme of art — the powerful tool that provided a path for Joan and Stephen to connect.

The pair spent many Tuesdays mornings figure drawing from live models at Basic Inquiry studio and gallery on Vancouver’s Main Street. Stephen held two exhibitions at Basic Inquiry prior to his death from cancer following a short illness in 2013, aged 64.

The full review is available at The Ormsby Review, an on-line journal.
Link at –

Steven Corcoran drawing, May 2011