Blood Star Gallery
The Art of Susan Taylor and Frank Ducote


(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

(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

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.

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


(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


(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

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

778 891 9437



(posted on 10 Apr 2022)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

It's just a few days until Easter and for us that means the South Pender Easter Art Walk that we started 23 years ago to recognize and support the artists of our little island. This year there'll be ten artists to visit at nine venues. You'll find wire drawings, prints, paintings in watercolour and acrylics, stained glass, hand crafted jewelry, folk art, digital art and more. It's a family event. If you're on the Penders, we hope you'll include the event in your weekend plans.

The Blood Star is at #9 on the Art Walk map below. We think you'll leave inspired.

Frank will be showing new digital work and new acrylics from his Shipyards series.

from Frank Ducote's Shipyards series, acrylic on cradled wood panel, 10 x 10


Susan will show new work from her recent series Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates. Isn't it just! These works are inspired by an over-the-top box of delicious chocolates she received from Frank several years ago.

from Susan Taylor's Life is Like a Box of Chocolates series, ink, w/c, coloured pencil, acrylic on paper mounted on cradled wood panel, 6 x 6

Both Frank and Susan have work in the ongoing exhibit Food is Everything at The Gallery at Hope Bay on North Pender. The exhibit is on until early May. Another varied, interesting art show to enjoy over Easter.

Susan's nest drawing, done in one of the "atmospheric rivers" we experienced several months ago, is in the juried Federation of Canadian Artists Small Works Exhibit on now through April at the FCA Gallery on Granville Island. You can see the Small Works Exhibit online at if you can't make it to Granville island.

Susan is thrilled to have a poster presentation of work from her ongoing Importance of Plankton series accepted for inclusion in the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. It's an international conference organized by the University of Western Washington and endorsed as a UN Ocean Decade event in recognition of the conference's role in guiding solutions to the challenges facing the Salish Sea. You can find information about the conference at Contact Susan directly if you'd like to see her presentation.

As we pine for sunshine and warmer temperatures, we remind ourselves that we are not homeless, not hungry, nor thirsty and not being bombed. We feel lucky every single day.

Our best to you,

Susan and Frank

Blood Star Gallery

(posted on 27 Feb 2022)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

We've had a great run at the Steveston Museum over the past three months and as we prepare to call it  a wrap tomorrow we'd like to thank the Steveston Historical Society and its staff for the cordial welcome. And the Stevestonians and others from away who visited our exhibit, and especially those who collected our work. We count ourselves very fortunate to have your support. 

Renovations will begin soon to make the front of the Museum more conducive for the presentation of art and we look forward to seeing the work of other Steveston artists there in the coming months. 

In other news, we're happy to report that the annual South Pender Easter Art Walk is a go. On April 17, Easter Sunday, you'll be able to tour the studios and galleries of a dozen South Pender creatives. After two years of covid induced isolation, we're all glad to be opening up, with the usual cautions in place. If you're planning to be on the Penders on Easter weekend, the Walk, now in its 23rd year, has become a much-loved tradition for many families.

Susan is thrilled to be showing some of her plankton paintings at the upcoming virtual Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. More on this April event next month.

Frank will be showing a couple of his digital pieces in the upcoming Scottsdale, Arizona Xanadu Gallery catalogue. Fingers crossed as the Blood Star continues to cast a wider net.

Susan has a drawing accepted in the upcoming juried Small Works Exhibit at the Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery, Granville Island in early April.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is the work of a thug. We applaud the creative measures the Canadian government and those of numerous other countries have taken to isolate him and his fellow oligarchs. In case you don't already know, the Canadian government will match donations made to the Canadian Red Cross for Ukraine. We've both taken the opportunity to do this and encourage you to do so, if you're able. In addition, if Frank's Waterfront Village sells before midnight February 28, he will donate the proceeds to the Canadian Red Cross.

Waterfront Village, digital painting, 18 x 24 by Frank Ducote $500

Spring is in the air and it can't come soon enough for this pair. Our best to you,

Susan and Frank

Blood Star Gallery, South Pender Island



(posted on 1 Feb 2022)

Dear friends of the Blood Star,

Just a quick note to let you know that we're staying on for another month at the Steveston Museum. We've added new work to our exhibit and would love to see you if you're in Steveston Village.

The Museum is open every day but we're not there all the time. We'd be happy to meet you there though with a little notice.

 text/phone 778 891 9437

All Along the Watchtower, digital painting, 24 x 24 by Frank Ducote


Spring is on Its Way, ink and watercolour, 10 x 10 matted and framed by Susan Taylor


Our best to you,

Susan and Frank 

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