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What’s New?

Some Winter Observations

In December, this column discussed the importance of narrative to customers when they buy art. Thank you to everyone who wrote to me about that article, and because so many of you wrote in agreement, I would like to provide you with another take on the subject.

I have mentioned before that one assignment that I give to my students of professional development at Emily Carr University is to define “the function of display.” Most students miss the mark with their submissions. Instead of defining the “function” of display, they tend to describe the objects they have on display, but in doing so they tend to reference many strong emotions to the objects they display in their narratives....Read more


Pledge. It’s an old word it seems, one you rarely hear anymore. The word has diverse applications but most of us understand it to mean a promise to do, or not to do, something. Simple pledges between friends function as informal oral contracts. In the loan, mortgage, bail and pawn industries, written commitments guaranteeing repayment are formal legal pledges of repayment and security. But perhaps the most pervasive use of a pledge in our society is the oral vow made at weddings....Read more

Staff Picks: Our Favourite Art Supplies

Opus Staff share the art materials and tools they love working with in their art practices!

We all have those favourite materials and tools that are a pleasure to work with but have you ever stopped to wonder why they are so special to you? We posed this question to some of the staff at Opus and the responses were as varied as materials chosen as their favourites.

Watch the video, get inspired, and share your picks below!...Read more

What Art Customers Want

I saw some brilliant art marketing while in Montreal this summer. The artist had a show in a small gallery with decidedly different and highly popular documentation.

These are the essential components of how we document each work of visual art at an exhibition: the title, artist’s name, the year of execution, the media used and its dimensions (and often its price). Most of the rest of the information about a work that an art buyer can access is contained in the artist’s statement. ...Read more

Dream Studio with Alan Wylie

Alan Wylie (CSPWC, AWS DF, SFCA, NWWS, CIPA, CWA, LWS) has had a long journey in his painting career to obtain the status and studio he has now. From painting in an old chicken coup, to a garage in the middle of winter with socks on his hands, to working in dark basements and kitchen tables; Alan has weathered it all in his quest to obtain a fulfilling career in painting.

After working in these challenging spaces, Alan was finally able to build his dream studio at his current home in historic Fort Langley. Watch Dream Studio for an exclusive look inside his work space as he shares his story and insights into his practice. ...Read more

Four Vancouver Secondary School Students Receive Scholarships from the Vancouver Art Guild and Opus Arts Supplies

Anita Ho - Prince of Wales Secondary

Four graduating students, Anita Ho, Yasuko Minami, Jodie Ng and Sarah Sun, chosen for their artistic excellence and acceptance into post secondary Fine Art Studies, are the recipients of these Scholarships Awards. Three of these Awards were jointly sponsored by the Vancouver Art Guild and Opus Arts Supplies; the 4th, in memory of Michael Saya-Moore, long time Guild member, was awarded through a Trust Fund established with the Guild in 2007 by Michael's family and friends. Guild members are grateful to Opus for their partnership in this endeavour to support aspiring young student artists....Read more

Success and Flowers

I began teaching in Continuing Studies at Emily Carr University of Art + Design shortly after my book, Artist Survival Skills, came out. I had picked up a Continuing Studies calendar to see if there was a course I might take and noticed that the listing for a course called The Business of Art showed the teacher was TBA (to be announced).

I contacted the University to offer my services for what I thought would be one semester, assuming the regular teacher was on leave, but I have taught the course every semester since. While I am only in the classroom for six hours a week for two months each semester, my course is a compulsory part of three certificate programs with about twenty students attending each of my two classes....Read more

How-To: Introduction to Screen Printing

With preparation and quality materials, screen printing can be easy as pie! Marsha Arbour, Manager of Opus Art Supplies in Victoria, reveals the step-by-step techniques for creating a simple 3-colour screen print with stencils....Read more

The Printers’ Mark

Joey MacDonald is one of the directors of the Olio Artists & Workers Cooperative, a printmaking cooperative established in 2007. As a graphic designer, Joey found his influence in his passion for screen-printing and music. Watch the video above to see all of the Olio’s facilities and the screen-printing process in action!

Read the full exclusive article below for more insight into the screen-printing process....Read more

How To: Introduction to Illustration

Alison Woodward from Opus Downtown Vancouver illustrates how you can draw on your imagination, rendering it on the page in washes of ink and watercolour. She shares her approach, techniques, and preferred materials in this informative Opus How-To Video.

When learning how to illustrate with ink and watercolour one of the most important things to consider is the paper that you are using. If you use a lower grade paper, the time it will take for your mediums to dry will be lengthy to say the least. That’s why we chose to use our newest high end watercolour paper for this demonstration. Opus Finest Watercolour Paper meets all the needs for even the most discerning watercolourist.

Watch the video to see the process and the final results!...Read more