Acclaimed printmaker J. C. Heywood died on 1 December 2022 in Montreal at age 81. From 1976 until his retirement in 2006, Professor Carl Heywood taught printmaking to Queen's students in the Bachelor of Fine Art program. He combined modesty with supreme assurance in the mastery of his technique. His gifts as a born communicator together with his great generosity of spirit endeared him to colleagues and aspiring artists at Queen's.
After studying at the Ontario College of Art, Carl continued perfecting his talent in print studios around the world, notably in Japan and Paris where, in 1969, he met his wife, German-born artist Renate Heywood. He is represented in collections all over North America and Europe. The Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec houses his life's work in recognition of his great attachment to the province. At the Trois-Rivières Print Biennale he won international recognition on two consecutive occasions. And the Canada Council for the Arts recognized his preeminence with numerous study-grants. A retrospective exhibition of his prints toured across Canada from 2008–2010.
An inveterate and deeply sensitive world-traveller, Carl Heywood immersed himself in the cultures of France, Japan, Egypt, Iran, Cambodia, and especially his beloved India. He captured the teeming life of that country in remarkable still photographs. He collected East and South Asian fabrics and absorbed their vibrant colours into his art. At the same time, he paid lighthearted tribute to the inspiration he had received from Western artists past and present: whether the realism of Dutch Old Masters; the multi-layered dynamism of the Cubists; or fellow Canadian printmakers like his Queen's colleague Otis Tamasauskas, with whom he collaborated closely.
The artistry of Carl Barks' early Walt Disney comic books and the radio antics of the comedians Bob & Ray delighted Carl's funny-side. He loved hiking, biking, white-water canoeing in Frontenac Provincial Park, and swimming. In his late seventies he was known to take dips in the Lachine Canal, outside the home in Montreal where he had moved with Renate. On a nostalgic last visit to Kingston this past August, he peddled all over the city.
Carl Heywood's life and art embodied the spirit of his upbeat personal motto, carpe diem -- seize the day! That boundless, joyful energy lives on in his prints, paintings, photographs, and in the memory of the many friends he made during his immensely productive career in the visual arts, much of it spent at Queen's University.