Arnold Shives (b.1943)


Arnold Shives is a Vancouver painter and master print maker. He has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Masters in Painting from Stanford University. His work has been exhibited across Canada, the United States, South Africa, Europe and Japan. Arnold Shives’ work can be found in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the San Francisco Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Tate Museum in London.

We first started buying Arnold’s work in the late 80’s. He is an avid mountain climber and hiker. We bought Stein Lake XVI because the image reminded us so much of Kananaskis Country where Carolyn’s family have a cabin. Stein Lake XVI is from a series of watercolour monotypes Arnold did based on a trip he did to Stein Lake which is west of Lyton, British Columbia. The technique he used involves painting in watercolour on frosted plastic sheets and wiping out sections that need adjusting and repainting those sections. The paintings were then transferred onto dampened paper utilizing a press. The fine white lines on the image were created by using a utility razor blade to scratch through the dried watercolour. Arnold’s friend Toni Onley also painted Stein Lake. The lake is important to the First Nations People and now a protected area due in no small part to the activism of artists like Shives and Onley.

River and Blossoms shares, for us, some of the imagery of Riopelle’s Paiellettes and Arnold has published a book called Homage to Riopelle which contains a number of monotypes in homage to Riopelle. River and Blossoms is in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Arnold says that Northern Lights, Nass Valley “I think it’s one of the boldest of my block prints.” We agree. Northern Lights, Nass Valley is a masterpiece. It is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Nickel Arts Museum, the Concordia University Contemporary Collection and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Artist Website

Works of Art

Artwork Information

7 Orbs 1, 1977
11/15 Ink Etching
4.5 x 4 in (11.5 x 10.2 cm)
Provenance: Paul Kuhn Gallery

7 Orbs 2, 1978
8/10 Ink Etching
4.5 x 4 in (11.5 x 10.2 cm)
Provenance: Paul Kuhn Gallery

Four Pots
Monotype on Paper
13.5 x 17 in (34.5 x 43 cm)
Provenance: Paul Kuhn Gallery

Northern Lights, Nass Valley 1981
Linocut on Paper
41.7 x 25.2 in (106 x 64 cm)
Provenance: Maynards, Private Collector

River and Blossoms 1983
22/40 Lithograph
7 x 6.6 in (17.6 x 16.5 cm)
Provenance: Paul Kuhn Gallery

Stein Lake XVI
Monotype on Paper
48 x 30 in (122 x 76 cm)
Provenance: Paul Kuhn Gallery