Blood Star Gallery
The Art of Susan Taylor and Frank Ducote

Newsletters

(posted on 8 Aug 2020)

Dear art lovers and friends of the Blood Star,

In 1896 Alfred Jarry published and produced the play Ubu Roi. The title character Père Ubu is a gluttonous, greedy and cruel individual who is willing to sacrifice anybody to accomplish his ends and ultimately proves himself a coward. Circumstances in the US brought this play to mind for Frank as he produced his sculpture Ubu Roi, aka The Mad King.

 

Ubu Roi (The Mad King), painted wood and found objects, 25 x 13 x 12

This piece as well as his landscape Craddock Beach can be seen in the 2020 ART OFF THE FENCE Show and Sale (disrupted) in the display case at the Penders' Driftwood Center for the next week or so. Frank's fascination with crows and ravens continues and one of the birds from his Conspiracy of Corvids series is also in this exhibit.

 

Craddock Beach, acrylic on wood cradle, 16 x 20

 

The Big Guy, painted wood and found object, 12 x 17 x 4.5

 

Susan is showing two larger pieces from her The Importance of Plankton series. Interest in plankton has built over the summer and most of the pieces in this series have now sold. A recent trip to Galiano Island to view plankton under a scanning electron microscope has reignited Susan's interest and delight in plankton and she now has new plankton pieces underway.

 

The Importance of Plankton III, acrylic and resin on wood cradle, 16 x 16

Frank and Susan both have had work accepted by the jury for the upcoming Small Work Exhibition at the Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery on Granville Island, Vancouver. The exhibition opens August 17 for two weeks. If you can't make it to Granville Island, it will be viewable on www.artists.ca beginning August 17.

Deep in Thought, acrylic on wood panel, 14 x 11 (image size), framed

Home II, ink and watercolour, 15 x 11 (image size), framed

The Blood Star Gallery is now open outside each day from 11 am to 4 pm weather permitting. If you're on the Penders, we'd love to see you.  The weather is constantly changing these days so confirming that we're open by texting or calling 778 891 9437 before you visit would be a good idea.

We hope every one of you is keeping safe and finding joy within your respective bubbles.

Our best to you,

Susan and Frank

www.bloodstargallery.com

 

 

 

(posted on 14 Jul 2020)

Dear art lovers and friends of the Blood Star,

At the end of each day, weather permitting, with our respective drinks in hand, cinzano with a twist of lemon for Susan and a beer for Frank, we pull up chairs outside to catch the last rays of the sun. It would normally be gin and tonics but we can't get any bloody tonic. Tonic is like TP was in March - very rare!

On three consecutive days last week, just as we sat down a bee flew in front of us carrying a leaf and dropped it at our feet. At about the same time each day! Susan thinks it's a lovely gift from the bee; Frank thinks that's too woo woo and that the bee is just startled to find us in its flight path and drops the leaf in surprise. Whichever is the case, it's one of the delightful surprises offered up by Mother Nature recently. And now we know about leaf cutter bees.

The seriously disrupted 24th annual ART OFF THE FENCE Show and Sale continues. We are changing the exhibit weekly in the display case at the Driftwood Centre on the Pender Islands, as well as on FB and Instagram at Art Off the Fence.

This week Frank is showing a digital painting, an acrylic painting and a folk art corvid.

Elephant Garlic, digital painting, face mounted print, 12 x 9

Hello Kitty, acrylic on canvas SOLD

Strutting Corvid, wood and found objects

 

And Susan is showing two pieces from her ongoing The Importance of Plankton series and one of her bigger nest drawings. It's such a pleasure to see the plankton work, that celebrates the beautiful micro-organisms that produce half of our oxygen, going to the homes of new fans.

The Importance of Plankton XI, acrylic and resin on wood cradle, 10 x 10

The Importance of Plankton XII, acrylic and resin on wood cradle, 10 x 10

 

Home II, ink and watercolour on paper, 15 x 11, framed

If you're on the Penders this summer you'll find us open outside 11 to 4, weather permitting. To confirm, please text or call

778 891 9437.

We wish you joyful summer times with those near and dear to you.

Frank and Susan

www.bloodstargallery.com

(posted on 7 Jul 2020)

Dear art lovers and friends of the Blood Star Gallery,

We're adapting to the current challenges, creatively - like so many others.

The annual ART OFF THE FENCE Show and Sale that we've taken part in for most of the past 24 years, continues. This year we're very happy to have the opportunity to exhibit our work at the commercial hub of the Pender Islands. It's not our usual one acre site for one weekend but a 24 square foot display case for six weeks and we're putting new work in the case each week and also posting it on Facebook and Instagram at Art Off the Fence.

Whether you're on the Pender Islands or the other side of the world, we hope you'll check out our new work.

This is week 2 of ART OFF THE FENCE.

Frank is showing faces, his favourite subject.

Amadeo Modigliani, acrylic on wood panel, 14 x 11, framed

 

In the Temple of Beauty I, acrylic, transfer and collage on wood cradle, 24 x 24

 

In the Temple of Beauty II, acrylic and transfer on wood cradle, 12 x 12

 

Susan is showing just one piece (because it's BIG, well, big for the 24 square foot display case anyway); it's titled The Importance of Plankton VII, and includes a few of the estimated one million microscopic plankton organisms. Susan's thinking is that by showing their beauty in her current plankton series, it will draw attention to plankton's importance to our way of life and to the importance of protecting our oceans from pollution and warming. Every second breath we take is thanks to the oxygen produced by plankton.

 

The Importance of Plankton VII, acrylic and resin on wood cradle, 30 x 30

We're keeping the Blood Star open 11 to 4 each day by moving our work outside, weather permitting. If you'd like to visit, we recommend sending a text or calling 778 891 9437 to confirm that the weather is co-operating in our neck of the woods.

We'd love to hear from you. How are you staying creative?

Our best to you,

Frank and Susan

www.bloodstargallery.com

(posted on 7 Jul 2020)
(posted on 26 Jun 2020)

Dear art lovers and friends of the Blood Star Gallery,

On Saturday, June 27 the continuing artists of the ART OFF THE FENCE Show and Sale will be placing Part II of the show - two or three  pieces of their new work, in the display case in front of Talisman Books at the Penders' Driftwood Centre. In a normal year, we would each show twelve or fifteen pieces at our annual outdoor show in mid-July. This pandemic year we'll change the show in the display case and online each week for six weeks. If you're not going to be on the Penders this summer you'll be able to see our work on Facebook and Instagram at Art Off the Fence.

 

This week Frank and Susan will be showing the following work.

A Timely Raven, painted wood and antique watch parts by Frank Ducote

Leonardo, painted wood and copper wire by Frank Ducote

Home III, ink, watercolour and graphite by Susan Taylor

The Importance of Plankton VI, triptych, acrylic and resin on wood cradles by Susan Taylor

If you missed Part I of this year's show, The Bee Project, you can still see it online at https://socialdistancingfestival.com/visual-art where it's receiving international exposure.

As for our own small gallery, weather permitting, we are displaying our work outside each day 11 am to 4 pm and ask our visitors to practise social distancing. Because the weather can be surprisingly different between North and South Pender Islands, we suggest you text or call 778 891 9437 to confirm that we're open. We'd love to see you!

We urge you to remain socially responsible and respectful of others as you enjoy the summer months.

Our best to you,

Susan and Frank

www.bloodstargallery.com 

 

 

(posted on 30 May 2020)

Dear art lovers and friends of the Blood Star Gallery,

It feels as if we've been sitting in Parking gear safe and healthy at home for the last few months while essential workers care for the ill and dying and keep us fed, and more. We won't forget their work.

Now, all of a sudden we're lurching into Third gear.

Art galleries have been shuttered; art shows have been cancelled or postponed; others have gone online. Some artists and galleries have been very creative and developed hybrid approaches to continuing to exhibit work.

There's a summer art show on the Pender Islands - ART OFF THE FENCE - it attracts a large crowd over one July weekend. About a month ago, the organizers needed to decide whether this year's show would be a go or no-go. We decided on a compromise. In our desire to keep our community safe, we've moved the 24th annual ART OFF THE FENCE Show and Sale from our usual bucolic one acre site to the twenty-four square foot glass exhibit case at the Penders' commercial hub, and online. Sounds easy doesn't it. Not so much! But we're starting to get the hang of it.

A few days ago we installed Part I, The Bee Project celebrating the importance of bees, in the display case and put photographs of the work online. 

Mondrian's Rustic Bee House by Frank Ducote

 

A Nesting Box for Artistically Inclined Bees (with a nod to F. Hundertwasser) by Susan Taylor

 

Frank's piece Mondrian's Rustic Bee House and Susan's A Nesting Box for Artistically Inclined Bees (with a nod to F. Hundertwasser, artist and environmentalist) have both sold; wonderful works in clay, wood, pastels, photography and paper are still available.

Part II of the show will feature a rotating exhibit of eclectic new work by Art Off he Fence artists both in the display case and online.

If you're on the Penders, you can see the show in the display case in front of Talisman Books; if you'd like to visit online, you can find the show on Facebook and Instagram now at  Art Off the Fence on Pender Island . If you "like" us on FB and "follow" us on IG, you'll automatically receive updates as we add new work over the coming weeks.

The highlight of the last few months for Susan has been the selection of one of her nest drawings by the Family Physicians of Canada for the cover of their Journal's May issue. That issue was delivered to the mailboxes of 38,000 family physicians across Canada a few days ago. It's pretty much an artist's dream to have her work chosen from among all of the art available in the world and then widely distributed!

 

Home by Susan Taylor

 

Frank has been working hard producing and selling work, both digital and painted, online. We are figuring out how to do this effectively.

Still Life with Crab Claw by Frank Ducote

 

Katy, Bar the Door by Frank Ducote

As for our own small gallery, we've been mulling how to open safely and thanks to our friend Monica's suggestion, beginning Sunday June 7 for the summer months, weather permitting, we'll be taking our work outside from 11 am to 4 pm and asking visitors to practise social distancing. Because the weather can be surprisingly different between North and South Pender Islands, we suggest you text or call 778 891 9437 to confirm that we're open.

We hope you and yours are staying well and have discovered inner strengths and creative outlets to carry you through this time, unprecedented in our lives.

Our best to you,

Susan and Frank

www.bloodstargallery.com

 

 

 

 

(posted on 11 Apr 2020)
(posted on 11 Apr 2020)

Dear art lovers and friends of the Blood Star Gallery,

Up until six weeks ago we hadn't heard the phrase "social distancing" and these days we hear of little else.

It's pretty quiet in the art world we can tell you. Art shows are cancelled, galleries are closed, some galleries are going online to try to stay alive, some are even selling from online exhibits.

One might be tempted to think the arts aren't important in these times but imagine how well we would have coped over the last four weeks without novels, music, movies, poetry, paintings...

Nick Green, a Toronto playwright, was to have had his play open on March 13. His opening was cancelled. Nick got to work and created the online Social Distancing Festival. He invited artists all over the world whose performances/exhibits were cancelled due to the pandemic to submit proposals for inclusion in the Festival.  Susan sent a submission on behalf of the artists planning to take part in the 21st annual South Pender Island Easter Art Walk. Nick accepted it and we can now be found on www.socialdistancingfestival.com, click on Visual Arts and scroll down to find us. While you're on the site, check out the numerous presentations from artists all over the world.

Susan received a very welcome email this week from the College of Family Physicians of Canada asking to purchase one time use of one of her nest drawings. They had found this image on the Social Distancing Festival website. Looking forward to seeing the cover of their Journal this time next month!

Frank and Susan each have a piece in the spring show at The Gallery at Hope Bay on Pender Island. The exhibit looks great but The Gallery had to close before anyone could see the show. You can now see the work of many of the Penders' artists in this show online at ptarmiganarts.org/virtualgallery.

The Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery on Granville Island is closed but they've taken their exhibits (and sales) online at www.artists.ca. Susan has work in their Small Works Collection.

Frank has been very busy creating new digital montages, some of them dramatic images reflective of the current pandemic. And he's getting back into paint too!

Finn Slough, digital montage by Frank Ducote

The Big Empty, digital montage by Frank Ducote

Susan was scheduled to exhibit work from her Importance of Plankton series at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver later this month. The conference has been cancelled and is now struggling to go online. With luck, there will be an opportunity to show some of each artist's work on the conference site. 

The Importance of Plankton VII, acrylic on panel by Susan Taylor

After a heart-warming experience in which we helped to rescue a mallard family that had jumped from their nest on a sixth floor balcony in downtown Vancouver, we started to create a children's book about the adventure. Susan is writing; Frank is illustrating. We do one chapter a day with a copy deadline of 6:30 pm when we read, electronically, that day's work to our grandchildren. The reviews from our captive audience are pretty good so far.

Baby Cole Catches an Eel drawing by Frank Ducote for chapter 5 of Mama Mallard and Her Ten Ducklings

It feels as if we're all being given a timeout to reflect on the mess we've made of the planet and to collectively change our ways and do better going forward.

Take good care of yourselves, everyone.

our best to you,

Frank and Susan

www.bloodstargallery.com 

(posted on 31 Dec 2019)

December 31, 2019

Dear art lovers and friends of the Blood Star Gallery,

It’s been an exciting year in art and we’re already looking forward to the next one.

Frank is pleased to have his digital work represented in an upcoming exhibit at The Gallery at Vancouver’s venerable Cultch; the artists' reception is Wednesday, January 8, 6 to 8 pm and the exhibit runs until January 25.

Purple Sky by Frank Ducote, digital print face mounted on aluminum

 

Susan has work accepted in the juried Federation of Canadian Artists Works on Paper Exhibit that opens at the FCA Gallery on Granville Island January 21 and runs until February 2.

Home by Susan Taylor, ink and watercolour on paper

There’s a brand new gallery on Pender Island, The Gallery at Hope Bay, with work by many of the Penders’ artists and artisans. Susan’s very pleased to have work from her The Importance of Plankton series in The Gallery’s Winter Exhibit. The Gallery’s winter hours are Thursday to Saturday 11 to 4.

The Importance of Plankton VIII by Susan Taylor, acrylic/resin on wood panel

For a few more days, the Small Packages Exhibit is on the walls at Talisman Books and Gallery on Pender Island; we both have small works in this exhibit.

Into the Light by Frank Ducote, digital painting face mounted on aluminum

Saw-whet Owl in a Storm by Susan Taylor, acrylic on paper

And as always you can visit our mostly up-to-date online gallery from the comfort of your cozy winter digs.

With that we’re bidding adieu to the old year with all of its troubling environmental, social and political woes, finding joy close to home in our families and in art making.

We thank all of you, old friends and new, who support us in what we love to do and wish you a healthy and joyful 2020 with new adventures in it.

Susan and Frank

www.bloodstargallery.com

 

(posted on 3 Nov 2019)

Dear art lovers and friends of the Blood Star,

You haven't heard from us in a while...have you missed us?

Our 20th annual one day sale is coming up next Sunday, November 10, in the Gallery and online.

In the meantime, a lot has been happening; we've been busy with shows and travel.

It was a big year for Susan. She has been showing work in the Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) juried exhibits on Granville Island, Vancouver; she has work in the current show FCA SHAPE AND FORM Exhibit which closes November 3, the EMERGING Exhibit that opens November 5, and the SPOTLIGHT Exhibit that opens November 21; she's been invited to include some small drawings in the FCA Gallery's continuing Small Work collection and has been awarded the FCA's Associate Member status. She served as a juror for a recent FCA exhibit and participated on a public art selection panel. The latter were fascinating experiences.  Susan's current series "The Importance of Plankton" resulted from reading "every second breath we take is thanks to plankton" earlier this year. In addition to being that crucial and the base of our oceans' food chain, the largely microscopic organisms are enormously varied and beautiful! 

                                                                                

The Importance of Plankton VI by Susan Taylor, acrylic and resin on wooden cradle

As usual, we organized and participated in the annual South Pender Island Easter Art Walk which continues to be very popular, attracts new South Pender participating artists and has, for many art lovers, become a favourite Easter Sunday afternoon activity. The summer was busy with the annual Art Off the Fence Show in July and an exhibit at the Penders' beloved Sea Star Winery in August.

In contrast, Frank has been a veritable slug by comparison! But seriously, he continues to hone his digital chops, and has been accepted in shows in Los Angeles and at the Cultch in Vancouver. This year, collectors from San Francisco to Toronto have acquired his digital and analog (i.e. painting) works, and his whimsical folk art pieces continue to find new homes. 

 

Looming by Frank Ducote, digital collage mounted on aluminum

As the saying goes, travel broadens, and in the winter Frank and Susan went to Mexico for some sun and made a pilgrimage to see the overwintering monarchs which fed Susan's wonder for these creatures and her ongoing monarch butterfly series; in spring we went to Italy, staying in Rome, Florence and a farmhouse in Tuscany, the latter shared with friends from Pender Island and Vancouver. Frank's training in Architecture and City Planning helped reignite his interest in late-medieval art, especially that of Giotto, whose work explored more accurate renditions of perspective and human form. Before him, human figures were sort of boneless and generic Gumbys, and buildings crudely portrayed. After Giotto, there was no going back. Well, 'til Picasso maybe.

So, onward! And we hope to see you at our sale or, failing that, online at www.bloodstargallery.com.

Our best wishes to you,

Susan and Frank

www.bloodstargallery.com

    

 

 

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