Shavasana Gallery & Café – Fall/Winter Hours

As I write this, I am sitting at my desk in Kitsilano. The sun is out and there’s not a cloud in the sky, and my early morning guest – a crow which I have been trained to feed – is sitting on the ledge outside my window waiting for his (or her) daily pumpkin seeds.

Did you know that crows can control your thoughts and actions just by staring at you intently? 🙂

I have been somewhat negligent maintaining my Shavasana Gallery & Café website, my Clay and Bone website* ( www.clayandbone.com ), and completely AWOL with new episodes for my Podcast – The Accidental Curator** – ( https://www.theaccidentalcurator.ca/ ) which hit a brick wall in June as I prepared to re-open my Gallery/Café after a 21 month pandemic hiatus (if you are not familiar with Clay and Bone or The Accidental Curator please visit the websites…I’ll be adding new Episodes and updating Posts shortly)

There’s really no good excuse for not maintaining the Shavasana site because – as a business – my posts can be short, informative and to the point. Occasionally, I will have content for a story or an art show which takes more time and effort to write up, but in general, something like a change in my hours should be available quite promptly. My apologies, therefore, to anyone who follows this site for information about Shavasana Gallery activities, and before I go on much further here’s the situation regarding my Fall/Winter hours:

Fall/Winter Hours:

During this period – roughly October through March – I will not have regular weekly hours of operation as I do during my Spring/Summer Hours, however, my intention is to be open at least one weekend per month…usually coinciding with some kind of pertinent event/activity planned for the Mayne Island Community. As of this writing I plan on opening for the Mayne Island Studio Tour (of which I am a part)…and the hours for this will be Friday November 12th 10am -4pm, Saturday the 13th 10 – 4, and Sunday the 14th 10 – 4.

I also plan on being open in December for at least one or two of the weekend periods…dates yet to be determined. And beyond that in 2022? Stay tuned!👍

Here’s a little video I made of Shavasana Gallery on my last weekend in early October – as a momento of what had been my busiest summer in 8 years of business. I hit the ground running when I re-opened in mid-July and stayed busy throughout the season…it was hectic yet fabulous!🙏

This was my last day of Summer hours – October 3, 2021 -and I had a quiet moment to do a walkthrough to capture the Shavasana vibe, a little momento of a fabulous summer – despite the pandemic👍

(*, ** The other two sites are where I devote my energies to what I call “my creative process”, Clay and Bone is where I write up my Ceramic Mask-Making activity and also do a fair bit of short story creative writing. During the pandemic – when Shavasana Gallery & Café was closed – I created The Accidental Curator podcast as a place/project to do stories and interviews. When I recommence recording, the focus will be primarily on short story readings and a narrative that I am pondering/working on which will be a semi-fictional reverie.

Shavasana Gallery & Café is Re-Opening!

As I’m sure most of you would agree, the last year-and-a-half has been…strange. It’s hard to attach one word to our collective experience since early 2020…strange for some, challenging & tragic for others, a CERB/CRB fuelled holiday for yet others. Despite our individual and unique experiences though, for most, it has not been “Business as Usual”.

After a very busy season in 2019, and feeling a little sense of burnout, I closed in October of that year with a mind to taking a 6 month break before re-opening in the Spring of 2020. My intention was to spend more time with my partner Cathy, maybe take a winter vacation to Mexico, and use Shavasana Gallery as my “Getaway Studio”… a place to just go and chill…work on a few creative projects, and visit some of the lovely friends I’ve made on Mayne Island.

Obviously, it didn’t quite turn out as planned. I’m almost shocked to realize that I have now been closed for 21 months. Regional travel restrictions (between health districts) have just been lifted, and I am in the process of gearing up to re-open.

It’s like starting a brand new business – and I know I’m not alone in this. Sunny Mayne Bakery, The Groove (Das Nest), Tru-Value Foods, Mayne Island Books, Dragonfly Gallery, The SeaCuterie – and others – have all changed hands or are new businesses which started up during the pandemic. I’m looking forward to getting acquainted with them all as I re-integrate into MI culture.

Long story short (as I get ready to load up my van for a trip to Tsawassen, The Salish Raven & Mayne Island )I am planning on re-opening my little Gallery Café Studio Thing at 9:00 sharp on Thursday July 15…the coffee will be hot & fresh, cookies & squares will be yummy (now being supplied by MJ Tiller, as my good friend & baker Astrid moved to Ontario in 2020)and the Arts & Crafts will be available for purchase.

Please come by and say Hi – I look forward to seeing you! 🙂

* Special thanks to friend and artist Mary Jack for the lovely pen & watercolour sketch of Shavasana Gallery 😊 ❤️

Shavasana Gallery & Café Update – May 21/21

Like most of you (I imagine) I have spent a good part of the last 14 months of this pandemic in anticipation of a “return to normalcy”, caught somewhere between hope for an end to masks and sanitizers and distancing, and disappointment when the finish line keeps getting moved farther down the field. As of this writing 50% of Canadian adults have received their vaccinations and this seems to be reflected in ever-diminishing numbers of cases and deaths. We seem to be heading in the right direction and for this reason I am more optimistic now about re-opening Shavasana Gallery & Café than I have been since March of 2020 when this ordeal began in earnest.

Most Mayne Islanders have received the first installment of their Pfizer/Moderna or AstraZenica shot and I received mine in late April. This provides some level of confidence as we slowly roll back the personal and collective restrictions that we have all been facing. I did come over to Mayne for 3 days this week – after a 2 month absence – for some much-needed (and essential )attention to the state of my business & surrounding grounds. It was 3 days of cleaning, organizing, mowing and weedwacking which really hadn’t been done since June of 2020. In some places the grass was up to my waist…and I’m not short.😆 On these very infrequent trips that I have made over the past 14 months, I always bring my own supplies and basically remain onsite to minimize my contact with others. I look forward to the day when this furtive and isolated behaviour is behind us.

Even 3 or 4 months ago my guesstimate for re-opening was May…but that’s obviously not happening. My sense now is that all of us will feel more comfortable to completely re-engage with the world when we have had our second shot and when the regional numbers show a significant decline. Although we were initially told that the second round of vaccinations might be 4 months away, I’ve heard rumours that additional shipments of vaccine may reduce that to 2 months…or roughly late June, early July.

So, all that being said, I’ve got my sights set on a possible July re-opening. Hopefully, immunity will come with Cafés being allowed, once again, to have inside seating, and the opportunity to finally ditch the masks & hand sanitizers. I’ll keep you posted with a further announcement as we approach that long-anticipated day🙏😷

I miss you all! Hope to see you in person soon🙏❤️

xo

George

(I don’t know who took this photo, but she/he sent it to my pal Jordy in Vancouver as I was having coffee with him because “she knew he knew me”…small world synchronicity 🙏)

Seasons Greetings from Shavasana Gallery & Café

It’s December 23rd…a few days before Christmas and I’m sitting here at my home office desk in Kitsilano. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve posted anything on my business website and subsequent shares on social media so it seemed like a good time for a little seasonal update.

As those of you on Mayne Island are quite aware, I am still closed – as my signage will attest – and fully intend to remain so until we all get more of a “green light” to comfortably return to some form of pre-pandemic behaviour (being purposely vague here 🙂 ) As I don’t live full-time on Mayne my own situation is a little more compromised than that of other full-time residents & shopkeepers. My eagerness to travel to Mayne on a weekly basis to run Shavasana Gallery & Café has pretty much been put on hold as I follow the provincial travel restrictions and the request from Dr. Losier to “Not visit Mayne unless it’s absolutely essential”. Now, I know there are some of you who’d say, “Having a coffee and looking at art is essential”, and of course I’d agree with you, but powers greater than I forbid it 🙂 .

Last time I came over to Mayne in early December (I pretty much bring all my own food and isolate within the Gallery – so I can have a coffee and look at art 🙂 ) I picked up my van and brought it back to the city so I can avoid public transport & stay in my car on the ferry for future trips. Anyways, without getting into the minutiae of my activities, here are a couple of photos of my exciting life.

A 20 minute wait to get into The Parthenon, my neighbourhood deli ; The Hummingbird feeder that provides company and amusement in my Covid-Islolated world…in this instance, covered with 4 or 5 tiny house wrens who also seem to enjoy sugar water; Cathy and I in front of our newly-decorated tree…it’ll be just the three of us this year, and perhaps a Zoom Family Xmas.

Wishing you all the best for a lovely Christmas and a healthy & happy 2021! ❤

The Accidental Curator (Episode 1 – Introduction)

This introduction gives – as you’d expect – a rough outline of the content of The Accidental Curator as I see future Episodes evolving. Getting Episode 1 “out the door” felt like a necessary step to help me understand the process of working with GarageBand, hosting on WordPress, and publishing on the various Directories. Podcasts – like life it seems – are a work in progress…not perfection 🙂

October 16, 2020 – Shavasana Gallery Café Update

I just realized that I haven’t done an update on the status of Shavasana Gallery since May 26 – neither blog nor post – so, while I have a little time and I’m sitting at my desk here on Mayne, I thought I’d let you know what’s been going on.

Although the Gallery Café has been closed TFN due to the pandemic, I have been managing to come over and use the space as my own studio hangout.

(top left); I’m here now working on a new mask for a M.I. Arts Council online exhibit; August harvest of blackberries on the property and subsequent cookie-making. (Bottom); and also working on some content for a new Podcast I hope to launch soon called “The Accidental Curator”,

It’s been a blessing to have a retreat away from Vancouver, and for this I’m grateful. I think the decision to close was the right one. As a guy who “commutes to work” , I travel – as a foot passenger – between here and Kitsilano twice a week during my open season which now runs April thru December. The commute itself has become far less enjoyable due to masks-wearing and social distancing, and infinitely more risky as I navigate 3 bus connections, the Canada Line, and the ferries.

Top row left: managed to get one of my masks “Archduke Ferdinand” into the “Arts on the Islands” book; middle: this is Cedar Christie’s pallette – framed; and evening treats of blackberries & Americanos overlooking Active Pass from the adirondacks. Shavasana remained a popular spot for meetings and visits: Friday’s Spiritual Reflections met here on occasion as did the Friends of Public Safety on Mayne (bottom row: – had a lovely jam with Gail Noonan and Mary Jack (lower right), here’s a pic of Jennifer Peers and Jerryann Haggart at one of their weekly coffee visits on the porch

Given that we are now into a second wave of the pandemic (Canada had over 4,000 new cases a couple of days ago) I’ve decided to remain closed, likely until my new season starts in April 2021. So…I will miss you all and the joy I receive from running my little business in the heart of “The Village” (“Uptown” as the Groove Kitchen and I like to call it 😆 ) I do hope to see many of you (if not all…it’s a small community 🙏 ) casually/socially/distantly as I come over to use my studio.

Sunflowers from my garden that I bring back to Cathy in Kitsilano; my first effort at making Focaccia (delicious!); a rose through frosted glass; sunset from Shavasana; I turned 65 this year and am now a Senior Cougar according to BC Ferries! 😆

Shavasana Gallery & Café Update – May 26, 2020

After careful consideration I have decided to keep Shavasana Gallery & Café closed until further notice. I have cancelled all four art openings that were scheduled for the 2020 season and will not be re-opening to the public as a café until I deem that it is absolutely safe for my customers and myself to do so during this uncertain time.

I am adopting a “wait and see” approach to the evolution of the Covid-19 outbreak and will reopen when the time is right for all. I think we will all know when this time arrives – when islanders and seasonal visitors alike feel completely comfortable returning to their pre-pandemic social habits…which include attending Art Openings and dropping by to enjoy everything that Shavasana Gallery & Café has to offer. I look forward to that time…..stay safe!

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George Bathgate

Proprietor – Shavasana Gallery & Café

(ps..I will be using the Gallery space as my own studio during this period so I look forward to seeing you all when I’m on Mayne ❤ )

 

 

 

Tanya Clark – A World of Art

As Shavasana Gallery’s first show of the season, “Tanya Clark – A World of Art”, ( May 7 – June 4) is not proceeding due to the pandemic, I’ve decided to do a little write up of Tanya’s fabulous art for you so you may, at least, have an idea of what was in store for you -sans canapés – had we been able to put together an Art Opening and month-long show for her.

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A picture of Tanya standing in front of         “Kelp #3” (sold) in her Gallery in Anguilla

Tanya has had an extremely interesting and well-travelled life, which is reflected in the diversity of media & styles that she employs in her artistic expression… “Tanya is a formally trained Canadian artist who studied painting and printmaking at Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver, before moving to Tokyo in 1985 to study the art of woodblock printmaking with world renowned artist Toshi Yoshida.” Tanya immersed herself in the Shin-hanga style of printmaking which gave her an “appreciation for the Japanese aesthetic with its subdued and subtle approach to colour.  In 1991, her work was awarded ‘Gold for a New Member’ at the Nihonhangakai, the largest international juried competition for woodblock prints.”…the first non-Japanese woman to do so!

“Morning Alms/Thai Quartet” – 11 x 22 Woodblock on Handmade Mulberry Paper

After five years in Japan, she relocated to Phuket, Thailand where she was “seduced once more by a completely different palette. The bold, saturated colours of the Andaman Sea and the visual explosion of tropical flora, both above and below the water, inspired a different direction in her work.” Here Tanya turned her attention to vibrant oil colours and expressive brush strokes  on canvas – a departure from the subtle colours of her woodblock training.

“Bed of Anemones” – 22 x 32 Oil (Sold)

In 1994 Tanya moved to the small island of Anguilla in the Caribbean where she “continued to explore the vibrant tropical elements of water, cloud, mountain and reef” She eventually opened “Phoenix Gallery” where she was able to exhibit her wonderful art and provide much-needed framing for island residents. In 2015 she spent time in southern Africa which inspired “a new collection of drawings and paintings featuring the inhabitants of Namibia and Botswana.”

“52 Degrees Celsius in the Shade” – 9 x 19 Charcoal on Paper (Sold)

Unfortunately, Tanya had to leave Anguilla in 2017 when Hurricane Irma (the strongest on record) destroyed her business and her gentle Caribbean island existence.  The Caribbean’s loss was Mayne Island’s gain as she chose to relocate back to her native British Columbia, and settle on another small island (Mayne) for a time, painting and drawing and providing framing services. She now resides in Victoria, preparing for new artistic inspiration and outlets for her creativity. 

“Moonrise” – 22 x 34 Fabric, Beads, Coral, Paint on Panel

Although I’m disappointed that I can’t bring you her lovely work in person, I hope that you can take some time and visit her website to get a better understanding of just how significant and grand her work truly is: https://www.tanyaclarkart.com/

“Autumn Crocus” – 16 x 28 Oil on Linen….From her website, “Employing a maturing repertoire of media and technique, she hopes to create work which will inspire an emotional connection to the majesty and mystery of an ever changing world.” 

If all progresses as we hope, the Coronavirus will be defeated soon and life can return to normal. Tanya and I have discussed mounting her art show next year when social gatherings are back in vogue  – fingers crossed! 🙂

(the Featured Image to this article is called “Veil of Tears” – 20 x 45 Oil on Linen…and is available for purchase)

Goodbye Astrid! We will Miss You!

Our very own, prolific, dependable, delicious, hard-working, generous, and big-hearted Astrid Bellem will be moving to Ontario on or about April 24th, and will be leaving a very large void in the bellies and hearts of all Mayne Islanders who have come to know her and rely on her stellar abilities in the kitchen.

As Joni Mitchell said, “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”, and I’m afraid there will be very many residents, weekenders, part-timers, and tourists alike who will bemoan Astrid’s absence from the food scene on our hungry little island. “Where’s Astrid?” will be a question raised on so many lips longing for the pleasure of her loving creations, and at so many events where she has become a stalwart & reliable provider of appies and baked goods for the masses.

Astrid’s long-time presence at the Saturday Farmer’s Market might be her most well-known public face as a go-to stall for a never-ending array of yummy baked goods – cookies, tarts, squares, cakes to name a few as well as some delicious savoury items such as her ever-popular Jamaican Patty, which even Chris Bennett (our resident Jamaican) said was, “pretty damn good, man”.

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But what many Islanders may not be aware of is Astrid’s foodie presence at so many essential functions and fundraisers. She has provided food, through her home-based business – Astrid’s Kitchen –  for the M.I. Conservancy, M.I Little Theatre, the Ag Society, the M.I. Art Society, art openings at Shavasana Gallery, the Food Bank, Farmgate Store, she has also made countless at-home meals for clients & friends, and, almost single-handedly helped raise $24,000 for St.John Point with a series of fundraising dinners held at Tim Hurley’s home…all in her humble manner.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of participating in any of her irresistible food offerings at the above events, you may have encountered her smiling face at the many Mayne Island businesses which employed her over the years: The Gas Station, the Post Office, the Springwater, the Mayne Inn and the Farmgate Store. Like most worker bees on Mayne Island, Astrid has worn many hats. What you might be surprised to learn, is that before coming to Mayne Island she had worked for many years as a Reproductive Endocrinologist – I’ll let you look that up 🙂

For me personally, Astrid’s parting will hurt doubly, as I am going to miss her good friendship (and her irrepressible border collie JC!), and her services as the provider of wonderful cookies, squares and other baked items, and fabulous catered foods for Art Openings at Shavasana Gallery & Café. Her and I have had this friendship & business relationship since early 2014 when both of us were still relatively new to the island and I have come to rely on her culinary skills, and dependability. Each week, as I was closing down my shop and doing inventory, I would text her my order for the following week, and they would magically be waiting for me in the “secret place” when I arrived to open up. She never missed an order – not once – and often I would be the delighted recipient of her “samples or extras”…sigh…these will be big shoes to fill.

I’ll miss you Astrid! Wishing you safe travels as you head across Canada to your new home in Douglas, Ontario! With Love –XOXO