Carl van den Bosch - The Life
Carl, age 17, 1936

May 11, 1919 Born Carel Christiaan in Surabaya, Netherlands East Indies to Jean Baptiste (Jan) and Johanna (Anne), second of five children. In school he shows an interest in history and in art.

1939-1941 On completion of high school and compulsory military service becomes first a junior draftsman in the Vulkaan machine factory in Surabaya and then an employee of the J.A.Wattie Company on their rubber estate at Chondong, West Java.

December 1941 - May 1942 Recalled to active service as Japan invades much of South-East Asia. Truck driver for the Third Artillery Batallion, first at Camp "Tanah Abang", then at Camp "Bodyong Pityong", both in West Java.

May 1942 - September 1945 On capitulation of Netherlands East Indies, is interned as P.O.W. in camps Sukabumi, Tjimahi, and Batavia in West Java; then, after perilous sea-transport, in Changhi Camp at Singapore and from April 1943 at Futuase Camp, Fukuokaken, Kyushu, Japan. Prisoners of war were used as slave labour - in this camp, to work the coal mines.

"The Ship Hove To" - The "Hawaii Maru" in storm off the coast of Formosa with P.O.W.'s to Japan (coloured pencil, 1982)
"Yacu-roccu-yu-roc" (No. 166) - Self-portrait as P.O.W. in mine garb, Japan, 1943 (pencil and coloured pencil, 1982)

September 1945 - December 1947 After Japanese capitulation, and about two and a half months medical recuperation in Manilla, made to return to active service (in violation of Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War) due to uprisings in Netherlands East Indies: served at Balikpapan on Borneo, and at Staff General Headquarters, in Batavia (Jakarta). Released from service in the rank of Sergeant.

February 1948 - February 1949 On leave in the Netherlands. On June 28, 1948 marries Johanna Cornelia Klaassen (Honey) in Amsterdam. Carl returns to Indonesia at the end of his leave. Son Peter Nico is born in October 1949 and soon afterward Honey sets out for Far East with infant to rejoin Carl.

March 1949 - June 1951 Planter at J.A.Wattie rubber estate Kali Duren in East Java. Does a few water colours. Due to continued unrest, especially in rural areas, Carl sends Honey and Peter back to Netherlands in 1950, and later resigns to join them.

June 1952 - May 1957 Works for C. Kersten & Co. in Suriname, as branch manager in Nickerie, and at headquarters in Paramaribo. Kersten sells general merchandise, all imported. Nickerie is situated in a region of West Suriname that is home to several experimental polders intended to bring stable agriculture, primarily rice, to the region, so the main products are agricultural equipment, like tractors. Carl takes up 8mm film-making at this time, with a solidly built Agfa cassette movie camera. At the request of a sales representative for one of the North American agricultural equipment manufacturers Carl makes a film of the problems encountered in the polders turning the extremely dense clay soils as well as the tendency for tractors to become mired. It is also during this time that Honey encourages Carl to take up painting, this time in oils.

June 1957 - April 1958 Works for Caribe Unie Limitada of Bogota, Colombia, an import/export company. Due to political instability, the company is unable to sustain its work force and Carl is laid off.

May 1958 - May 1960 Works various jobs in Amsterdam.

Carl working on seascape with rocky shore - Indonesian boats - 1964

May 1960 Family emigrates to Canada. First job with International Harvester takes them to Chatham, in southern Ontario, where Carl works as salesman. Carl starts a correspondence course in cartooning. When he is laid off, the family moves to London, Ontario in October 1961. Eventually finds work as hospital orderly and trains as Psychiatric Nurse. Takes correspondence school in commercial art. Returns to painting.

June 1968 Family moves to Vancouver, B.C. Finds work at Vancouver General Hospital. Takes evening courses in graphic art; experiments with techniques in serigraphy; opens a studio on Broadway, near the hospital, where he spends a few hours each day; finds several galleries in Greater Vancouver, Victoria, Tacoma WA, and Portland OR that regularly sell his work. Some of these galleries will fail, and creditors will seize works that the gallery held on consignment as partial payment. During the best years, the sales covered the cost of rent on the studio and materials; most years it was necessary to subsidise the work; scores of his works found their way into people's homes through these galleries.

Self Portrait (ballpoint and coloured pencil, 1977)
Studio on Broadway

March 1980 Family moves to a rented house in Burnaby. Carl retires from VGH in 1984.

(felt tip pen, 1981)
Self Portraits
(pencil, 1984)

December 1986 Family moves to a house in south Surrey, on the Semiahmoo peninsula. Carl uses facilities at the White Rock Seniors Centre and the Station Art Collective. He teaches several classes at the Seniors Centre.

July 4, 1993, age 74, passes away in early hours at Peace Arch Hospital, White Rock, British Columbia.

The Estate of Carl van den Bosch