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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
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
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