Monday, October 13, 2014

Hello again,

I hope that you have had a wonderful summer with lots of time to laugh, meet up with family and friends and spend some time in awe of the great outdoors.

I feel as if I have lived a bit on the edge this summer with a little too many things happening, too many dates to remember and juggle but all the while feeling happy with what I was doing with my life.
This was my 13th year of operating the "Frog" as it is affectionately called. With much contemplation I have decided that this will be my last year  of operating a retail business.  I am still as besotted with folk art as I was when I first stumbled on to it, I love the physical space that the Frog occupies but I am no longer enchanted with running a retail operation.  I just spend too much of the summer working and not enough time for friends and other delightful things.

The website will continue and I intend to attend some weekend art fairs in other Provinces and perhaps take some folk art into the US.  Many years ago I sold NS folk art to the Folk Art Museum gift shop in New York City, perhaps I will look into that again. If you know of any events that might be an interesting venue for the work that I carry, please email me about them  - I might see you there.

I did not spend as much time as I have other years visiting with the artists because for a while now I have been thinking about reducing my involvement.  I found that Bradford and Ransford Naugler continue to create colourful objects.  I particularly enjoyed a large fish that Bradford carved this year.  Another piece that I have really enjoyed is a Robert Workman piece of otters frolicking on a large piece of driftwood. This piece will be on the website when I up date later this year.  This will be a very difficult piece to ship so I hope that someone who arrives in a car will fall in love with it.

I found that Rick Brittain's work continues to get better.  His paintings have again been much admired this summer and I have sold many.  I will continue to carry his work on my website and I look forward to watching his creative growth.

Peter Rafuse who was this year's poster boy at the NS Folk Art Festival was a popular artist this summer. Many collectors came in for a piece of Peter's more primitive work.

When you next come to Lunenburg, please do not hesitate to email or telephone me.  Let me know if you would like to see any pieces that are on the website, I will be happy to show them to you as well as many more which are not on the website.

I hope that you continue to enjoy your folk art and I look forward to a continued folk art journey with you.  Inge

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hello Again...

...dear folk art lovers,
Another winter has passed . I wish for you  that this winter has been one of more  good health than not and one of much joy and laughter. I hope that you  have you been enjoying your  folk art and that you are looking forward to coming by to say hello and to smile at these wonderful creations.  I spent some time in the southern US this winter and looked at lots of southern folk art.  One of my favourite artists is Mary Proctor.  She often incorporates wise sayings in her pieces like "when I was a child I told my grandma all my thoughts, she said child they aint worth a penny till you put them to use and penny make dollar".  I think that we have all had many thoughts that turned out not to be worth much because we did not put them to use.

Returning to Nova Scotia folk art.  I have some wonderful new pieces in the gallery many of them are now on my website and some still to be photographed for the site.  There are some new pieces by old timers like Eddie Mandaggio - a beautiful huge rooster and a bobcat that he made a long time ago.  A stunning, large   Garnet McPhail chicken and  some small birds by Thomas Rector.

This year I will add some Rick Brittain paintings to the site.  They sold rather quickly last year before I got round to having more images taken.

Have you looked at the site and noticed the two paintings by Charles Norris.  The first time that I was introduced to his work I thought that I was looking at his brother Joe's  work.  Their styles and content of what they paint are very much alike.  It seems that they lived next door  to one another,were the best of friends,  painted together and were an influence on one another.  Unfortunately Joe passed away in 1996  and Charles lived until 2012.

A collector who came to know Charles well tells me that Charles referred to himself as "Charlie". He recalls  that he  was an earthy, simple man who would telephone and say "this is Charlie". Charlie's work expresses his deep connection to the sea and the small coastal community where he lived...the only world that he knew. What a shame that I did not have a chance to meet him.

Joe's work rather quickly escalated in price, in part because he had two major collectors of his work.  Charles  was not collected as prolifically and this reflects in the very affordable price of his work today.  For now I just have these two paintings for sale.

I usually do not write about happenings in Lunenburg on my blog but it is with pride that I let you know about Martine and Sylvie owners of the restaurant Fleur des Sel and the Salt Shaker deli.  Martine and Sylvie are very hard working and their dedication has been rewarded.  Fleur des Sel has been named the best restaurant in Nova Scotia and number seventeen in Canada.

Recently we had much film activity here when a week of filming for " The Book of  Negroes" took place on the waterfront among other locations in Lunenburg.

Another new and exciting project to take place in Lunenburg is a Documentary Film Festival to be held between 19/21 September, 2014. Check out the website and come if you can.

Friends this is all for today.  Enjoy your family, your friends, your gardens, markets, parks and everything else  that gives you pleasure... until next time -  Inge

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Year end greetings...

Hello dear folk art lovers, I hope that you had a healthy, sunny and pleasurable summer and fall.  Those  months go by far too quickly for me and perhaps for you as well.  The Spotted Frog had a good season with many returning visitors and just as many first time admirers of Nova Scotia folk art.

I am happy to report that all of the artists whose work I carry are in good health and continue to be creative.  I picked up some beautiful pieces this year many of which did not make it on to the website before they were sold.   In particular I am thinking of the delightful small paintings by Kyle Jackson. In the past I have spoken about Rick Brittain and the wonderful paintings that he creates often incorporating found objects - these did not make it on to the website either - something I will remedy for next year.

You may have noticed that there are not many unsold pieces on my website. This is because someone tampered with my site and removed all of the images and unfortunately I did not have a back up for many of them - a lesson learned. When the gallery is closed, as it is now, I do not add new images but I will in the spring.

A friend received a Christmas card where the people had written five things that they did not enjoy about 2013 and five things that they did.  I thought that I would reflect on that and share mine with you.

Things that I liked
Spending time with friends in Florida in the winter of 2013
Opening the Spotted frog again
Becoming more courageous in a kayak
Enjoying a visit from both of my children and their loved ones

Things that I did not like
Having to do major repairs to my building
Getting Lyme disease - happily much improved
Two dear friends suffering with major health issues
Losing material from my website

Perhaps you will reflect on your life in 2013 and stumble on the things that you enjoyed and did not.
I wish you nothing but good things for 2014 and look forward to meeting you when you come to Lunenburg.  Until then - Inge

Monday, May 20, 2013

The 2013 season has begun...

Hello dear folk art lovers, I hope that you have  had a healthy, joyful and adventure filled year.
Over the last couple of months I have had a chance to visit with many of the folk artists whose work I carry and I am happy to report that  everyone seems to have "wintered" well and is looking forward to a successful summer season.
Among the pieces that I  was able to purchase from Bradford Naugler is a   beautiful piece of a women with long black hair ,holding a cat and  sitting on a bright red chair. Somehow  Bradford managed to carve the women and chair out of one piece of wood.   Then I picked up an unusual piece from Peter Rafuse.  It is a piece called "popeye" and is entirely made of pieces of wood with large burls on it.  The burls look like groups of muscles - hence the title. 
I also have a number of pieces for sale which were assigned to me  my by a folk art collector of long standing.  Mostly they are pieces by artists no longer exhibiting at the NS Folk Art Festival.
I have photographs taken of many of the new pieces in the gallery  and I am waiting to receive them from the photographer to download  on to  my website.  Hopefully that will happen within the next couple of  weeks. 
In the mean time, I can talk a little about the pieces that are for sale.   There are four Eddie Mandaggio pieces.  One is a large, elegant, silver fish.  Another is a family of nicely painted ducks.  The Mommy duck has had some neck surgery but she has healed well.  The three little goslings that sit around her  are nicely painted and the entire family  looks very endearing.  Also by Eddie I have for sale two handsome robins.  One of them has a little feather in its mouth ready for nest building.  These robins can be sold separately. 
Another artist is Garnet McPhail who used to live near Wolfville and was a mentor to Peter Rafuse. Garnet taught Peter how to carve and while there is not a similarity between their work, I think that it is fair to say that both artists work/ed in a primitive style.  One of the Garnet pieces is a curvaceous white chicken.  Another is a large duck.  This piece is not dated. It probably was carved in the l990s. Underneath the duck the wood is cracked but as you know, cracks in wooden pieces of folk art do not detract from the pleasure of owning the piece. 
There is a Thomas Rector duck of about the same era.  I think that it is a Mallard duck - but I imagine when I get these images up on the site, someone will email me and correct me if I have mistaken my ducks.
Clarence Aulenback, whom I saw  recently is still working on occasion.  He  is   a wonderful story teller and Audrey his gentle wife is an avid listener. The Aulenback duck that is for sale does not show well in a photograph because it is essentially painted brown. However, the markings in green, maroon and blue are quite exquisite.  Clarence has a wonderful way of applying paint - his conceptualization of design is quite different to any other past or present folk  artist.
Last, there is Bradford's  beautiful tall, upright and  lean black bear with (nail) claws on his front and rear paws.
So my friends, I am now open for the season.  I am looking forward to saying hello to many of you over the next few months.  For the first time in many years Janet will not be working with me.  She has decided to take the summer off and I will be sharing my Spotted Frog time with Hilary who will also enjoy meeting you.  I will chat again soon - enjoy your gardens, beach walks, picnics or wherever else your energy takes you  and above all enjoy  the ones you love.  Inge 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Collection up-date

Hello again, this is very soon since my last post.  I thought that I would let you know that the three Bubby Moores pieces have been sold and the Eddie Mandaggio Oxen painting went as well.  I wish that pieces from the early folk artists would present themselves to me  as quickly as they disappear.  I am happy to say that the collector who bought them lives in Nova Scotia so they are staying in this Province.
If you have any pieces of folk art from the early and not so early artists and you are ready to dispose of them please remember to contact me.  I may well be in the market for what you own.
I and a dear friend of mine, also a folk art lover, are collecting data on some of the contemporary folk artists and we want to publish something on the subject.  Mostly we want t o  highlight the artists and their work.  I will keep you posted as our work progresses.  Also this summer I will have a videographer make a short film The Spotted Frog to post on my website - so things are and will be happening. Be well. Inge

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's May Again...

Hello dear folk art lovers,

It is almost mid May - finally I now have many new pieces of art on my website.  It has been fun meeting up with the artists again. It seems as if everyone is doing well and working hard at being creative.  The milder winter that we have had has made it easier for the artists to be in their workshops during the traditionally cold months of the year.  It seemed to me as if there was more finished work to chose from that other years at this time.

I have pieces of work by artists who are not shown on the website, so if there is an artist whose work you enjoy and you do not see it there, please contact me,perhaps I have a piece of that person's work at the gallery.Rick Brittain is the artist whose paintings have greatly evolved since I began selling his work.  He often paints on found objects or frames his work with found objects.  Many of his paintings depict empathic rural scenes using bright colours and lots of paint.  Barry Colpitts has been able to obtain difficult to secure cultural grants to carve a couple of pieces of work.  Congratulations Barry - your work has a large following.

In addition I have pieces for sale by deceased artist Bubby Moores who was most famous for his large carving of a naked (but not offensive) female named Penelope and she was often seen with her crouching poodle.  Unfortunately, I was not able to get a Penelope but I do have one poodle.  I have a bridal couple carved by him as well as a two foot female dressed in blue.  Then there is an Oxen painting by Eddie Mandaggio as well as a seascape by him.  Eddie has not done any work in many years and these pieces came to me from collectors who were downsizing.  I have a couple of lovely paintings by Leo Naugler.  I saw Leo a couple of weeks ago and he is looking healthier than he has for many years.  I also have a couple of pieces for sale by Don Lewis.

I hope that at some point between now and the end of October when the gallery closes I will again have an opportunity to meet many of you.  Not only are the folk artists familiar faces in my life, many of the collectors are becoming frequent summer visitors.  I will write again in a while.  Enjoy the warmer weather, stay healthy and I hope that you have lots of fun and laughter in your life. Inge

Monday, December 26, 2011

Seasons Greetings

Hello dear folk art lovers, this has been a difficult year for many people on our planet, people on our continent,in our community and in our family.  I hope that it has been a mostly good year for you.

I had intended to pick up all sorts of wonderful new pieces of folk art this fall and then life intervened.  A lovely friend became very ill and hospital visitations took up much of my free time.  However, I expect to dash around the Province in the spring and return with lots of beautiful pieces of folk art - many of which will be posted on the website. I will write again after my visit with the folk artists.   I look forward to seeing many of you at my gallery when I open again in May 2012.  Until then I wish you good health as well as  much joy and well being for 2012.  Inge