Blood Star Gallery
The Art of Susan Taylor and Frank Ducote

Newsletters

(posted on 30 May 2024)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

Ocean Week Canada is coming up June 1 to 9 with the big day being Saturday, June 8. There'll be many activities in Steveston to bring awareness to all things ocean.

The ocean and all of its inhabitants are some of Susan's favourite subjects. Plankton is crucial to all of us. Its organisms provide us with half of the oxygen we breathe, it forms the base of the ocean food chain, it's a sink for the carbon dioxide we produce and yet, for the most part it's invisible to the naked eye. Susan's upcoming exhibit The Importance of Plankton celebrates the beauty of these essential organisms. 

If we take care of the oceans, they'll take care of us.

 

Señor Burrito by Frank Ducote, acrylic on wood cradle, 14 x 11

Frank's bold and loving portraits of farm animals are proving popular. Señor Burrito is the latest one to leave the Blood Star. He has promised to have additional work in this series available for this year's ART OFF THE FENCE Show and Sale on South Pender Island. Mark your calendars and book your ferry travel.

 

Our best to you,

Susan and Frank

Blood Star Gallery

South Pender Island

www.bloodstargallery.com

 

(posted on 3 Mar 2024)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

A recent getaway to Mexico has recharged our creative and solar batteries. Mexico City is bursting with fine art and Diego Rivera's huge canvases replete with social commentary were a highlight. We've read that artists are allowed to pay their taxes by contributing their art in lieu to the state which probably accounts for the terrific collections in Mexico.

Carnaval de la Vida Mexicana by Diego Rivera, 1936

We're getting work ready for the 25th annual South Pender Art Walk coming up Easter Sunday, March 30, noon to 5. When we started the Art Walk we were just a handful of artists living and working close together and it was possible to walk to our studios; the number of creatives on South Pender has increased dramatically and you might find it difficult to visit all of us but you'll probably want to come by car or bike or maybe horse, if you have one. We hope you'll make it to see us, we're #12 on the map.

Frank has been painting a series of farm animal portraits after receiving a commission for a whimsical cow from one of his favourite collectors. Meet Bandito! And look for more work in this series at Easter.

Bandito by Frank Ducote, acrylic on cradled panel, 14 x 11, commission

Susan's thrilled with her recent success in a public art competition. Work from her photographic series Lines and Nets: A Terrible Beauty is now installed at the Aberdeen Skytrain Station on No. 3 Road in Richmond and will be there through July 2024. After serving as a juror for public art and gallery exhiibitions over the past several years, it's pretty sweet to now have this success as an artist. The Terrible part of the Beauty comes about when damaged and abandoned nets and lines ensnare marine animals. There seems to be some awareness building on the part of those who manufacture and use these goods and fledgling recovery and recycling efforts are underway. Here are two of the four images that comprise Susan's installation.

Lines and Nets I by Susan Taylor, photograph, public art installation 2024

Lines and Nets II by Susan Taylor, photograph, public art installation 2024

We've also started to produce some joint work recently, large-scale colourful  collages. More on those in our next newsletter if we manage to keep working together peaceably. 

We wish you good health and creative energy and hope you seize each day with gusto. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Susan and Frank

Blood Star Gallery

www.bloodstargallery.com

(posted on 2 Nov 2023)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

We have a lot happening in the coming few months and hope you’ll want to plug in to some of it.

Our 25th anniversary sale is fast approaching. Twenty-five years and counting for both the Blood Star Gallery and our relationship! Who would have imagined this! We consider ourselves very lucky indeed on both counts.

For one day only, Sunday, November 12, 10 am to 2 pm, we’ll take 25 percent off available work in the gallery and online at www.bloodstargallery.com. If you can’t visit us in person, please call or text 778 891 9437 with any questions or to arrange a purchase.

We’re happy to be returning to the Steveston Museum for the month of December. Frank will be showing collages and some new digital work; Susan will be showing some new drawn nests  and work from her new photographic series Lines and Nets.

DUCOTE, Do We Have a Quorum?, collage on wood panel, 16 x 16

DUCOTE, Dawn Over the Salish Sea, face mounted digital painting, 24 x 18

A couple of Susan’s new drawn nests have been juried into the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Winter Small Works Exhibit which opens November 9 and runs through January 27.

TAYLOR, Small Nest I, ink and watercolour on paper, 11 x 11 framed

Susan’s drawing of moon jellies has been accepted by the jury for the upcoming Federation of Canadian Artists Water Exhibit that opens November 28 and runs until December 10 at the FCA Gallery on Granville Island.

And finally, Susan is tickled pink to have her submission based on her Lines and Nets series accepted by the jury for a public art installation in Richmond in 2024. Details to follow in the new year.

TAYLOR, future public art installation

We’ll look forward to seeing you or hearing from you over the coming weeks. As ever, we are very grateful for your support of what we love to do.

 

Our best to you,

Susan and Frank

 

www.bloodstargallery.com

(posted on 30 Jun 2023)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

Frank has immersed himself into the deep end of the collage pool in recent months. This piece entitled When is Too Much Never Enough represents this new direction in his work.

Frank's view of the contemporary art scene is that almost everything is some form of collage or assemblage.

Ever since Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso started it all and Jean-Michel Basquiat notably extended it with multiple seemingly unrelated snapshots, collage continues to be a powerful artistic direction. As has the still life as a perennial subject matter.

DUCOTE, When is Too Much Never Enough, 16x16, paint and paper collage on wood panel

 

The sight, sounds and smells of twelve beautiful cherry trees being felled one morning in April this year has made an indelible impression on Susan and is reflected in her work ever since. It has underscored for her yet again the importance of trees and has also given her an enhanced understanding of the motivation of the brave people who risk their own safety to protect old growth forests.

A new series The Importance of Trees has evolved in the last several months.

TAYLOR, The Importance of Trees, ink and gouache on paper mounted on wood cradles, each piece 6 x 6

Frank's collages (and more, there's always more with Frank) and work from Susan's new series will be shown at the 27th annual Art Off the Fence Show and Sale July 15 and 16 on South Pender Island.

And, one of Susan's pieces from this series has been accepted by the jury for the Federation of Canadian Artists annual On the Edge Exhibit on Granville Island, opening in late July.

We wish you a glorious summer weekend and a celebratory Canada Day. We are so fortunate to live in Canada!

Susan and Frank

Blood Star Gallery

(posted on 22 Mar 2023)

 

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

There's nothing like a deadline! We both need them. The upcoming Easter Sunday Art Walk on South Pender Island has us focussed on finishing new work and filling holes in our gallery walls. If you're planning to be on the Pender Islands on Easter weekend we hope you'll join in the 24th annual tour of our little island's studios and galleries. The Blood Star is at #11 on the map.

If you're on Granville Island in the coming weeks, the juried Bloom Exhibition is on the walls at the Federation of Canadian Artists' Gallery and Susan's flora, fragmented is included among many beautiful floral works and ikebana too. Susan's piece was inspired by the most extravagant bouquet she's seen - a breathtaking clutch of at least two dozen cut scarlet amaryllis at the entrance to Sotheby's New York auction house. Bloom opened yesterday and continues through April 2. It's sure to lift the spirits!

flora, fragmented, ink, w/c, gouache on paper on cradled wood panel, 12" x 18"

Then, beginning April 4 and running until April 14, the FCA's annual Small Exhibition will be up in their Gallery. Susan's piece Life is Like a Box of Chocolates, You Never Know What You'll Get was selected by the jury. We're eager to see the smalls in this show.

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates..., ink, w/c, on paper on cradled wood panel, 8" x 8"

Frank has been working on collages for the past few months and will have many on the Blood Star walls during the Easter Art Walk.

Slack Tide, painted paper collage on cradled wood panel, 24" x 36" x 1.5"

And finally, it may seem early but we'd suggest you mark your calendars for this year's Art Off the Fence Show and Sale, July 15 and 16 on South Pender. The ferries are getting busier; reserving well ahead of mid-July would be a good idea.

We wish you a joyful spring and look forward to seeing you soon.

Susan and Frank

Blood Star Gallery

www.bloodstargallery.com

(posted on 6 Dec 2022)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

If you're going to be in Richmond or Steveston during December we hope you'll drop by the Steveston Museum to see our Winter Show. And if you give us a heads up, we'll do our best to meet you there. 778 891 9437 text or phone

 

Salmon Face I by Frank Ducote, collage mounted on cradled wood panel, 9" x 12" 

 

Rockfish by Frank Ducote, collage mounted on cradled wood panel, 9" x 12"

 

A Nest for Three by Susan Taylor, 4.5" x 4.5", framed 10" x 10"

Season's Greetings. We wish you warm, healthy times with loved ones.

Thank you for supporting us in what we love to do.

Susan and Frank 

(posted on 17 Oct 2022)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

After a couple of years without much travel, we decided to venture out, vaccinated and masked, to see new sights. We're not getting any younger and there are too many places we want to visit and revisit.

The Hudson Valley in New York State didn't disappoint. So much fascinating history - in the visual arts, it was where landscape painting  started to gain favour in North America. Prior to Thomas Cole's and Frederick Church's arrival, and what's become known as the Hudson River School of painting, those who wanted to own art favoured portraits of themselves or their loved ones. More recently, with the leadership of Pete and Toshi Seeger and others, it's where the environmental movement took hold in the US. They encouraged people to think globally and act locally as they worked to clean up the polluted Hudson River that was suffering from long term industrial abuse. We saw the boat Clearwater being lovingly tended at anchor. Such a small boat had such a large impact with its educational, consciousness-raising work on the river.

Previously unknown to us, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is a marvel. It's said to be the largest art museum in the US, a former fabric printing factory complex of low rise brick buildings, it houses some very exciting, large art. Fantastical ceramic creations by Francesca DiMattio and works by Anselm Kiefer were among our favourites.

Frank with work by Francesca DiMattio at Mass MOCA

Work by Anselm Kiefer from his Velimir Chlebnikov series at Mass MOCA

On the homefront, we're very happy to have work in The Gallery George this month. Frank is showing digital work; Susan is showing  work from the Life is Like a Box of Chocolates series. And we'll both have work in the The Gallery George's Autumnal Equinox show, November 2 - 27. The Gallery George is at 1502 East Hastings Street in Vancouver, hours are Wednesday to Sunday noon to 6 pm with Crawl hours during the very popular Eastside Culture Crawl November 17 - 20.

from Susan's Life is Like a Box of Chocolates series showing this month at The Gallery George

Frank's Birds at Olympic Village showing at The Gallery George in November

Susan will have work in the Federation of Canadian Artists' juried Mixed, and Water exhibits in November at the FCA Gallery on Granville Island.

And we're very happy to be going back to show our work at the Steveston Museum for the month of December, beginning December 3. We loved our time there last December.

And now to get back to work.

Our best to all of you,

Susan and Frank

(posted on 2 Sep 2022)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

The excitement is building. Tomorrow's the day! The 12th annual Grand Prix of Art starts at 10 am with over one hundred painters taking over the bank of the mighty Fraser River in and around Steveston. Early tomorrow morning participants will be assigned their painting locations by lottery, rush to get set up at their assigned spots, and start to  paint at 10 am. At 1 pm, brushes are to be put down and the painters will frame their pieces for the judging that commences at 2 pm in the Heritage Shipyards Net Loft. The works will be on display for the rest of the afternoon and through 4 pm Sunday. Frank is registered and eager to get started. If you'd like to cheer him on, in person, or electronically, you'll be able to find his location after 10 am tomorrow at www.grandprixofart.com.

Shipyards III by F. Ducote, acrylic on cradled wood panel

Susan's excitement this week has been the publication of writer David Greer's article The Importance of Plankton that features some  work from her series of the same name. Ever since Susan read "every second breath we take is thanks to plankton" she's been learning about these essential, mostly invisible organisms and striving to show their beauty in the belief that if we can't see something most of us tend not to care about it. We must care. Plankton absorbs carbon dioxide, produces half of our oxygen, forms the base of the oceans' food chain, and is being threatened by climate change, ocean acidification and pollution, and now, we are learning microplastics. Without plankton, we're hooped. You can find David Greer's excellent article online. https://3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2022/08/the-importance-of-plankton.html

Susan's also happy to have her Harvesting Garlic piece accepted for the juried Mixed Exhibit opening in October at the Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery on Granville Island, Vancouver. And now that the hectic pace of summer is letting up she's starting work on commissions.

Harvesting Garlic by S. Taylor, ink, watercolour and gouache on paper

We hope you're relishing the remaining sultry days of summer with friends and family.

Enjoy the long weekend.

Our best to you,

Susan and Frank

www.bloodstargallery.com

 

(posted on 27 Jun 2022)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

Glorious summer has finally arrived! There's so much to delight the senses these days...strawberry fields bursting with fruit, the first juicy bing cherries from the Okanagan arrived in the markets yesterday, sultry long evenings perfect for bicycling, frogs ribbiting through the night...and art shows galore!

We're very happy to be organizing The Pender Show: Putting Our Best Foot Forward. Motivated by the flourishing visual art scene on the Penders, we pitched this show to the Sea Star Vineyard and Winery and they embraced the idea of celebrating the eclectic art of the Penders' artists. Thirty-four artists and artisans will each have one work in the show that opens this coming Friday night 4 to 8 pm and continues Saturday and Sunday.

 

And two weeks later the much-loved 26th annual Art Off the Fence Show and Sale will open Friday, July 15, 4 to 8 pm and continue Saturday and Sunday July 16 and 17. Sea Star Winery is where we'll be this year and we're very grateful that the Winery is welcoming us. Consternation over The Dip on South Pender's Canal Road and when repair work will take place motivated us to seek a venue on North Pender.

 

We look forward to seeing you over the summer months at the Winery shows or at the Blood Star. When we're not at the Winery, we'll be open most days 11 am to 4 pm but it's probably best to text us 778 891 9437 to confirm.

We wish you the happiest possible summer full of memorable times with family and friends.

Susan Taylor and Frank Ducote

Blood Star Gallery

www.bloodstargallery.com

 

(posted on 11 May 2022)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

The weather remains cool and wet here - perfect weather for preparing new work for upcoming summer shows.

Frank has been experimenting with abstraction over the past few months and has produced a new series titled A Day at the Races. These digital painting and collage works are available as sublimation prints on aluminum in limited editions of three. Here's the one titled The Race is On! It can be printed up to 48" x 64".

Susan is continuing work on her chocolate box series. Life is Like a Box Of Chocolates IV was accepted by the jury for the current Federation of Canadian Artists online 365 Exhibit. You can see it at https://federationgallery.com/exhibit/365_online_exhibition_2022/3369

Here's another recent chocolate box.

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates III, ink, w/c, acrylic on paper mounted on wood cradle, 6" x 6"

The Pender Show: Putting Our Best Foot Forward will be the kickoff show in Pender Island's Sea Star Winery roster this summer. We're thrilled that the Winery will again be offering art exhibits this summer and has accepted our pitch to exhibit some of the best work created by Pender artists and artisans. One piece from each artist not previously seen on the Penders. We're excited! Art lovers won't want to miss this show, July 1,2,3 with the opening Friday night. Make your ferry reservations now.

And then two weeks later, the greatly-loved Art Off the Fence will also be taking place at Sea Star Winery. Our usual venue on South Pender lies beyond what's now benignly referred to as The Dip. The repair schedule for this disintegrating section of road is unknown so we're very happy that Sea Star has welcomed AOF to the Winery, July 15,16,17 . There'll be an opening Friday evening 4-8 pm and the show will continue Saturday and Sunday. Mark your calendars and again, do book your ferry reservation. The coming months promise to be busy! 

May your fledgling gardens lift your spirits and begin to fill your plates over the coming weeks.

Our best to you,

Susan and Frank

Blood Star Gallery

Pender Island

www.bloodstargallery.com

778 891 9437

 

 

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