Episode 5: Gabriola Island

So it was home sweet home, well for me at any rate. Gabriola Island, or 'Gabe,' is known as the 'Isle of the Arts,' and for good reason. Because of that and the timing of the Thanksgiving Studio Tour we decided to make art the focus of this episode, I mean let's face it, as Carol at Twin Beaches Gallery likes to say:

Dominik rode over and checked in at the Nomadic Bull B&B, yes I own and operate a B&B, so if you're ever thinking of coming to Gabe and like big cedars and peace and tranquility then give me a shout. Joining us was my son Cole, Dominik's better half, Mariko, and a couple of guests from Pasadena, California, Marionne and Mui.

Common living area

Common kitchen area

Two rooms to choose from

Our first stop was one of Gabriola's most visited natural landmarks, the Malaspina Galleries, a beautiful wave like rock formation at waters edge. It offered a beautiful seascape and Dominik painted a gorgeous perspective as the tide rolled in. In fact he had to move a couple of times to keep his feet dry.

Dominik at work

An awesome spot

Another beauty

Next up was Twin Beaches Gallery to meet Carol. Carol, who owns the gallery, came over from Vancouver and when she wasn't working in 'The Gabe Shop,' she was organizing her gallery. Although Carol doesn't have a background in art, she comes from the fashion industry, she has a major passion for it so had opened Twin Beaches Gallery. She believes in the artists on Gabriola and has opened her doors to many local artists, some on the Studio Tour, but many not. I chose the gallery because many of the artists there were emerging artists. Any art form takes a serious commitment loaded with talent and a great deal of perseverance. The 'starving artist' syndrome is very real and many are unable to make a living at it because they are too busy at other jobs to pay the bills. It is a pickle they all face so the decision to commit to one's art over a regular source of employment is a tough one so it's always nice to see a healthy collection of artists venturing down that path. Carol had displays throughout her gallery and had also rented an additional space so many local artists were well covered. There was some spectacular art on display and we'd like to thank Carol for giving us a tour of the galleries. Remember, Art Lives Here!

Eclectic collections

Carol and I

My favourites

Then it was Dominik's turn. He chose Elsa Bluethner of Bluethner Fine Art. Flipping through the Studio Tour guide booklet he immediately gravitated to her work, he mentioned the brush work and light in her paintings and was quite eager to see her work up close and interview her. Elsa has not been on Gabriola long either but along with her husband, Philip, had bought a house just up from Berry Point Road and had set up shop. Elsa walked us through her gallery and talked to Dominik in depth regarding her work, her process, and on the writing on the borders of a particular series of paintings. The words came from Philip who wrote poetry and were excerpts from poems he had written to Elsa. It was a very special collection with a very personal twist. The interview covered a good portion of her work which also included some very imaginative pottery. All in all it was a great visit and we'd like to thank Elsa and Philip for taking time out of their busy Studio Tour schedule to give us a great one-on-one interview. Thank you very much and best of luck on Gabe!

Beautiful paintings

Dominik and Elsa

And not just paintings

From there it was back to the Nomadic Bull B&B for a pasta dinner prepared by yours truly for us and my guests. It had been a grand day on a grand island covering some very talented artists. Might as well finish it off with a good meal and some red!

Rock combing

Fall on Gabe