Dave Stevens


(posted on 13 Nov 2023)

I am participating in the Nanaimo ArtWalk on December 2nd and 3rd at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music, 375 Selby Street near the old railway station.
There are 70 artists represented this year and a shuttle bus has been organized from Downtown to the Old City Quarter every 20 minutes.
The art exhibition runs Saturday the 2nd from 10am - 4pm and Sunday the 3rd from Noon - 4pm.

I hope to see you there.

The lamprey has a suction cup mouth so it can fasten itself to other fish for its food. It first
became known on Vancouver Island, B.C., in Cowichan Lake. The name Vancouver suggests
images like the steam clock from Vancouver’s Gastown, while the name lamprey sounds like
“lamp” and “ray”, hence my fanciful illustration.

Mexican artist Diego Rivera worked on big murals in his native land and internationally. One of
his pieces “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Central Park” is fifty feet long. It is a
fresco which covers four hundred years of Mexican history and portrays numerous figures that
convey the agreeable side of life interspersed with darker occurrences such as a man being shot.
Rivera was active in his political views reflecting socialist beliefs. He was involved with the
Communist party and was married numerous times including twice to Frieda Kahlo.

Diego Rivera

(posted on 14 Oct 2023)

When I was a young dad, we visited Booth Bay Resort on Salt Spring Island, the largest one off the coast of Vancouver Island, where my mom would rent two cabins. She’d stay in one and use the second cabin for her children’s families. We’d take turns staying for a few days each. We explored Salt Spring Island for many summers, even after my mother stopped providing a cabin.

After our first visit we took an empty aquarium with us which we filled with sea water and creatures we found in the tidal pools. We learned to aerate the water by pouring streams back into the tank and we let the creatures go each night. We often caught crabs, usually small ones that we found under rocks. Maybe even some umbrella crabs.

Ainslie Roberts is an Australian artist who illustrated aboriginal myths and stories along with text by Charles Mountford in an edition called The Dream Time book. Ainslie Roberts painted the images with confidence and flair, distorting many of the subjects such as placing them on thin legs to communicate the dream-like quality. In my teaching I would use Ainslie Roberts to introduce the idea of anthropomorphizing a subject such as the uprooted tree-hand. Roberts is a fascinating artist.

Ainsley Roberts


(posted on 14 Sep 2023)

Tube Worms

Tube worms get their name from the hollow tube shell they build around themselves. They join
other worms to form colonies and are often found near hot vents on the ocean floor. Some deep inhabitants grow from six to eight feet in length. You would think their feathery bodies would catch microscopic food which would pass to their stomachs, but they do not have mouths or stomachs. They rely on minerals from their bodies and from the water as nutrients for survival.

I would like to refer to Antony Gormley again because he is like the tube worms in that he covers himself with rigid materials such as plaster and he then transforms the casts into sculptural pieces. Another Place consists of one hundred cast iron human figures which Gormley placed in the Merseyside tidal flats. He also used cast figures in vacant rooms some of which are arranged on the floor while others climb up the walls or hang from the ceilings. For him the idea behind the sculpture was as important as the visual representation.

Antony Gormley

(posted on 23 Aug 2023)

I have been in touch with the Parkinson's Society of BC and they informed me of things that make a difference when donating if you want to go under my name (Mary your money has already been transferred over).

1. Parkinson BC has their own address - www.parkinson.bc.ca/superwalk

2. I used the full name of DAVID rather than Dave.

3. Page can also be activated through -


Sorry if this is conveluted.


(posted on 16 Aug 2023)

Steelhead trout have suffered from overfishing and changes in the natural landscape which affects their ability to return from the ocean to some of the rivers and streams of their birth. They are a sea run trout that comes back stronger and larger as they develop. The farther north you go the bigger they become. They are sought after by fly and float casting fisher people. For me combining the metal heads with the fish body was a natural as I had been producing mechanical creatures for awhile. I recently published a book called The Red Door based on illustrations of mechanical insects and a enclosed manufactured garden.

Some good friends, Deborah and Terry Hopkins, took us to see Beyond Van Gogh in Victoria on Vancouver Island. If you‘ve never been I recommend that you go. There were three parts to the show: a life history with quotes set against close-ups of his paintings, a moving compilation of parts of his work that covered a wall and the floor, followed by a large room with views of Vincent’s work complete with transitions  to the next ones that were displayed. I have seen originals but here the size and juxtapositions were overwhelming. Vincent created many pieces, some of which I recognized but others were new to me.
Vincent was seen as the epitome of mental anguish combined with a drive to create. One thing that people often know is that he cut off a portion of an ear to convince a woman of his love. He is purported to have only sold one of his paintings during his lifetime and yet he has become a major influence in modern art and his use of colour, his choice of subjects and his use of stylized marks have contributed to many modern artists.


I wanted to let people know they can contribute to the funds raised for Parkinson's research by supporting individuals through the SuperWalk. I will be participating.


(posted on 31 Jul 2023)

I wanted to let you know that I will be involved on the last weekend of August in the Art Jam and Art on the Avenue.

The problem is that it occurs in Ladysmith on Vancouver Island and that automatically means some of you won't be in the area. But .........

Hope you or somebody you know can make it.


(posted on 14 Jul 2023)

Rats are often seen as carriers of disease, or we associate them with areas such as the
inner city. I saw a number of rats when I worked on art with the homeless in Surrey and I
found myself worrying about rats who climb into engine area of cars and chew on the
hoses. Our reactions are often based on perceptions of dirtiness but the ratfish received its name for its looks as it reminded people of the rodent’s appearance with its tail formation and front teeth. They are, in fact, deep sea creatures who can grow to four and one-half feet long and are most often seen in our shallower waters at night. Ratfish are a slow swimming fish who feed on clams, crabs and sea worms. They rely upon a poisonous spine located at the dorsal fin on its back, a non-aggressive form of self-defense.

Harkeerat Mangat was a student who came along near the end of my teaching career, and he was in a group that excited and challenged me. As a grade 10 student he was invited to join in a show at Melissa Lane’s store/gallery in New Westminster and he graduated from North Delta Secondary. Harkeerat also displayed work at the prestigious Buschlen-Mowatt Gallery in Vancouver along with Tristan Unrau, following which he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Emily Carr College of Art + Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Dusseldorf, Germany. He has since gone on to establish himself as a multidisciplinary artist in Germany and Vancouver. He combines faith with artistic vision so that there is no separation between the two. What he believes dictates what he creates.
Harkeerat Mangat

(posted on 14 Jun 2023)

The quill fish is one of my favourites, especially the surprised look and the quills from which it gets its name. Quillbacks are a type of rockfish which inhabit many of the waters around British Columbia. They move from tidal pools as young and can live several hundred feet below the surface as adults.They hang around rock faces in what we humans would consider upside down postures. Their quills are limited to the fins on their back and sides. You must watch out when handling these fish as their quills might stick you. Not a bad defence against being eaten.

A favourite artist is the woman named Kathe Kollowitz. A woman who died in her 60’s in 1945 she was a German expressionist who believed in having a social conscience. She fought against poverty and hunger and fought for women’s issues and workers’ rights. She was an artist who worked with printmaking, painting and sculpture. Some of her prints show women in poverty and the choices they are confronted with or workers protesting poor working conditions. Some images have stayed with me  especially those of women fighting against a personified death. Very memorable.
Kathe Kollowitz

(posted on 14 May 2023)

The Pink Ladies refers to the show, Grease, where the lady gang members wore pink jackets. They remind me of the pink salmon who migrate, yearly, past the shores of Campbell River to reach their spawning grounds in the rivers along the coast of Vancouver Island.
Once the salmon were abundant, but in recent years they have decreased in number due to overfishing, climate change, and other factors. While still a food source both commercially and recreationally, the salmon are a shadow of what they used to be.
I was born in Campbell River, and I grew up with stories of fishing with the likes of Roderick Haig Brown, a fisherman, a judge, a writer, and an environmentalist. I own books he wrote about life and fishing in the area. Haig Brown’s place by the Campbell River allowed him to be near one of the most productive salmon rivers in the province. From childhood I dreamed of fly-fishing the Campbell river-a dream I fulfilled one summer. Using a googly-eyed fly, I caught and released a beautiful salmon in the Campbell River.

Like Haig Brown, Emily Carr loved the environment around British Columbia. Much of her art was influenced by the old villages with their long houses and totem poles on Haida Gwaii. She travelled by boat and canoe to the southern islands of the Queen Charlotte Islands, as they were known back then, where she created drawings and paintings to record the village life and history of the Haida people. She was an artist, a writer, and a historian. She studied art with Lawren Harris of the Group of Seven. The Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver commemorates her. The Vancouver Art Gallery has many of her works in their collection.
Emily Carr has become a voice for this province.

Emily Carr

(posted on 23 Apr 2023)

In reviewing my last Blog I realized that I neglected to inform people of my own displays, so I am rectifying that oversight.


Nanaimo Arts Council

Take It To The Bank                                Millstone Rapids 1                             Oil on canvas
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
Reception on Tues., 25th  April
Show on until May 30th, 2023            
205 Commercial St, corner of Bastion and Commercial

Port Theatre in Nanaimo                          Red Hawk                                         Acrylic on paper                            125 Front Street                              
Show set up April 26th, 2023                                                                            Art Around Town

Ladysmith Arts Council

On Now:

Contrast Show                                        China: Old and New                          Woodblock print                          144 Parkhill Terrace, Ladysmith                       
Until May 7, 2023

Coming Up:    

Whimsy Show                                          Arbutus Islands I + II                      Oil on canvas
144 Parkhill Terrace, Ladysmith    
May 9th - 28th, 2023                

Art on the Avenue Festival                    Paintings, relief prints, books and cards
Sunday, August 27th,2023

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