“Cutting Edges” New Works by Bill Maylone, Famous Empty Sky, Wayne Thomas…and Special Guest “Prospector”

This has been an atypical year for Shavasana Gallery & Café. Whereas most years would see artists set up and take down within a month – with the joy of Opening Night parties – in 2022, because of the lingering uncertainties surrounding Covid/Omicron I decided it best to keep a good stable of resident artists on the walls, supplying café guests with a safe visual treat of their creative talents while focusing on a very busy café season.

Just some of Bill Maylone’s, Famous Empty Sky’s and Wayne Thomas’s new works

But as the season is winding down, my good friend and Figurative Abstract Collage artist extraordinaire – Famous Empty Sky, who always loves a good social event – proposed to myself and the other artists that we completely refresh the show which had been up for some months, by bringing in all-new material, and having a “Final Show of 2022” event. Structured Abstract Painter Bill Maylone, and renowned First Nations carver Wayne Thomas and I loved the idea, so, new pieces have arrived and found new homes on the Gallery walls and now, we are planning a Closing Party!

We hung the show several days ago (Sept 15) and it always goes smoothly when assisted by the calm hand and careful measurements of Empty Sky’s personal hanger – her husband Jim Heshedahl! As well as being an accomplished art hanger Jim is also a fabulous musician and will be providing background music the night of the show with “The Rambling Truths” (which includes Gail Noonan and myself – see poster above). *Rumour has it that Jim may also be celebrating a “Special Birthday” on the night of the party – Sept 30th….shhh!😆

Just a few pics of the varied talents of these 3 brilliant island artists – I feel blessed to have their art on Shavasana Gallery’s walls

So please set aside Friday September 30, 6pm – 8pm to come on down to Shavasana Gallery & Café (457 Village Bay Road, Mayne Island) for a great evening of art, conversation, food, drinks, music and fun!

*Prospector is flying in from Colorado a few days prior to the party and will be in attendance and able to answer any questions you may have about his art which will also be on display🙏😊

A Visit with Synn Kune Loh (Joseph Loh)

I recently had the good fortune of meeting artist Joseph Loh (Synn Kune Loh) and his lovely partner Esnie Shum when they came by Shavasana Gallery & Café several weeks ago. Joseph & Esnie and their family are new arrivals to Mayne Island, and had dropped in to have a look at the art and sit for a visit and a coffee – exploring, as one does, all that Mayne Island has to offer, and familiarizing with their new community.


“The childhood dreams of mountains and streams a permanent possession“… a beautiful 3″ x 5″ acrylic painting displayed at Joseph Loh’s studio on Mayne Island

I was delighted when they invited me to visit Joseph’s Art Studio on their rambling forested acreage on Mayne. A large, bright and airy building on the property now houses many of Joseph’s work from a long and illustrious career as a painter. I managed to take several shots of his various styles, including the larger pieces seen here…

Synn Kune Loh and I in front of one of his bold & colourful Diptych’s, “Childhood Dreams of Mountains and Streams”

Joseph’s Studio contains an interesting and varied selection of his work from a long career as an artist which includes the above framed drawings (left), and “Whispers of Immortality” (right) inspired by his many travels and studies in consciousness

For a brief bio on Jospeh (Synn Kune’s) life, I borrowed the following from his website: http://www.synnkuneloh.com/ …. “Synn Kune Loh has been an exhibiting visual artist, design consultant, author, and international speaker on the evolution of consciousness.
For over a decade he travelled extensively in Mexico, leading explorations to twenty pyramids, including the special sacred site known as The Luminerias. Synn Kune was also an active speaker with the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, California.
Born in China, Synn Kune grew up in Hong Kong. He completed a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Bridgeport in the USA, before his graduate study in Cultural Psychology at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario. An accomplished painter, he studied experimental art at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. In addition, Synn Kune holds a Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Counselling from the International College of Spiritual and Psychic Science in Montreal, Quebec.”

Mayne Island and her citizens are fortunate to receive Synn Kune Loh’s artistic and spiritual contributions to the fabric of our creative culture.

Hrothgar & Heshedahl at Shavasana Gallery

Although the two Norse Gods of weather – Freyr and Thor – couldn’t seem to agree upon rising, which way the day was going to turn out, by noon, Freyr – the God of fair weather and sunshine -got the upper hand and we were gifted with enough warmth and sunshine to stage a lovely outdoor musical event at Shavasana Gallery & Café.

Hrothgar is an impressive lyricist, guitar, and harmonica player and backed up by Jim Heshedahl’s solid bass, the duo did a fabulous job belting out 20+ songs from Hrothgar’s new songbook, “Hrothgar Jackson’s Songbook Volume 1” …which contains 52 original songs by Hrothgar (aka Roger Cove).

Hrothgar’s new Songbook will be available for purchase at Shavasana Gallery & Café. (Suggested retail price is $20.00 Canadian)

Stay tuned for future afternoon performances and jam sessions at Shavasana Gallery!

Shavasana Gallery & Café – Hours of Operation for May

Spring definitely seems to be taking its time to kick-in this year. Lots of false starts, with days that feel warm, sunny & encouraging only to be squelched by new rounds of grey skies, rain and cold – which is exactly where we are at as I write this entry on May 2, from my home office in Kitsilano. Maybe I should just lose my expectations and anticipations of “gardening weather”, and let nature do its thing to avoid disappointment.

The “Made on Mayne” event, which ran Easter Weekend was fabulous and one of my busiest weekends ever. We opened a show for Famous Empty Sky, called her “In Isolation Series”, which showcased her beautiful array of new collage-works – this exhibit should be up and running throughout May & possibly longer (except for the pieces we sold! 😆) I’m not sure where she gets her energy but Famous Empty Sky also baked 8 dozen cupcakes (as shown) to be handed out to grateful guests. We were also treated to some lovely jamming by her husband Jim Heshedahl and friends (Rodger Cove (Hrothgar Jackson), Kurt Dahl, & Brendan Brown)…here are our hours for May:

Friday 6 – 9am-4pm

Saturday 7 – 9am – 4pm

Sunday 8 – 10:30pm – 4pm

Friday 20 – 9am – 4pm

Saturday 21 – 9am – 4pm

Sunday 22 – 10:30am – 4pm

Monday 23 – 9am – 4pm

Hope to see you all then 🙏❤️

Shavasana Gallery & Café – Famous Empty Sky Opening Weekend (Easter Weekend Hours)

Just getting ready to re-open the Gallery Café for the Easter Weekend, which happens to coincide with the “Made on Mayne” (image attached) event sponsored by the Southern Gulf Islands Arts Council. This will be similar to the Fall Studio Tour which ran last November and was a great success, but has now grown to include all things “Made on Mayne”. I am also the lucky recipient of a new show by Famous Empty Sky and her beautiful collage work. We’ll be hanging her new – hitherto unseen – show on Thursday in preparation for our Friday to Monday showings.

I feel quite fortunate to be welcoming back Famous Empty Sky as my first art show after two years of pandemic event precautions. As I’m sure you are all aware “Group Events”, like Art Openings have not only been discouraged, they have been banned. So, getting together with her and her husband Jim to hang the show on April 14th for an Easter Weekend Opening was a real treat. To illustrate how “rusty” I have become during this time, I am only now (May 2) editing my “Current Exhibits” page to reflect this new show that we have – something I would normally do prior to each new opening. And, in fact, we did not put together a big evening soirée as we would normally do, but chose to promote the show over the course of the first 4 days of its run, to avoid big crowds out of respect for attendees lingering precautions – but things are improving.🙏 I think the 8 dozen cupcakes that Famous Empty Sky baked to hand out to guests may have helped people to overcome their anxieties about public places😆

Famous Empty Sky’s , new exhibit is called her “In Isolation Series”, which showcased her beautiful array of new collage-works – this show should be up and running throughout May & possibly longer (except for the pieces we sold! 😆) I’m not sure where she gets her energy but the 8 dozen cupcakes (as shown) which she baked were a big hit with our grateful guests. We were also treated to some lovely jamming by her husband Jim Heshedahl and friends (Rodger Cove (Hrothgar Jackson), Kurt Dahl, & Brendan Brown).

Please drop by during our hours of operation to enjoy these gorgeous collages…(sorry, cupcakes are all gone, I ate the last one!😆)

Hours of Operation:

Friday & Saturday: 9am – 4pm

Sunday: 10:30 – 4pm

Monday: 9am – 4pm

It’s promising to be a fabulous event, please come on by!

Shavasana Gallery & Café Re-Opening

Hi – I’m just posting this message to let all of you know that I shall be re-opening for business this coming weekend. It seems that the Omicron spike has subsided, the cases & hospitalizations are back down to their pre-Omicron level, and heck, I just feel like opening up because I miss you all so much! 🙂

So many of my posts of the past two years have reflected on the worrisome nature of the pandemic and the strangeness of our collective experience. Sadly, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine things are no less worrisome and we seem to be embarking on another journey into unknown territory. My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people at this time.😢

If all goes as planned I shall be following my winter/spring hours and opening Shavasana Gallery & Café one or two weekends/weekdays per month until my summer schedule kicks in. Here are this weekends Days/Hours:

Friday: 9am – 4pm, Saturday: 9am – 4pm, Sunday: 10:15am – 4pm (I may also be open Monday TBA)

(**Thank you to Setsiri Silapasuwanchai for providing this lovely Ukraine flag Art Print)

Shavasana Gallery & Café – Temporary Closure

Today, January 4, I will wander up to Dunbar to receive my 3rd vaccine shot – my Booster – thus, hopefully, completing the Trifecta of Protection that the system is telling us we need for personal and collective safety. We’ll see.

When I closed the Gallery/Café on December 16 – for my annual Xmas break – my intention was to open a couple of weekends per month throughout the winter season in 2022. Although we’d heard about the new Omicron variant at that time, most of the spike in cases was happening in South Africa – where it originated – and Europe, where it appears to have spread. On December 16, new cases in Canada stood at 6,942…rising but not as bad as waves # 2, 3, or 4 (see chart below)

This chart is from Worldometer, a site I follow daily just to witness what’s happening in Canada and around the world. For the interactive chart, go here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/

Within a few days of closing it became apparent that Canada was going to follow on the same trajectory that we’d witnessed in Europe, and where we are in fact – now. Numbers/Cases have pretty much gone “off the chart” and we are all left wondering how to navigate this new situation. Luckily, it seems that Omicron – although terribly virulent – may not be as life-threatening as its predecessor – the Delta variant – and, there may be early indicators that this dramatic rise in cases may be short lived.

In any event, my responsibility as a Gallery/Café owner, is to ensure the safety and well-being of my customers, and of course, myself and my partner Cathy. Given this uncertain moment we are experiencing, I have decided to remain closed until we have a better understanding of the severity of the Omicron variant, and we see the numbers start to decline dramatically. I will also feel somewhat more secure when I have allowed my new booster to work its magic, which apparently takes about two weeks.

All that being said, my feeling is that we’ll start to see a decline mid January, and should have a better idea about Booster efficacy and the severity of the variant (Of course, my friend Jordy had to point out to me this morning that Jimmy Fallon has been vaxxed and boosted and has just tested positive for Covid-19 😆)It’s been a weird ride…

In a perfect world, I shall be opening the Gallery/Café sometime in late January or early February – hope to see you then! Stay Safe🙏❤️

Shavasana Gallery & Café – last days of operation before Xmas

It’s a rainy Friday afternoon and I’m sitting having a coffee at the Starbucks at the corner of 49th and Fraser. I like this Bucks for its international clientele, perhaps one of the most ethnically diverse areas of town. Although I’ve lived all over Vancouver, I have a fondness for this area as I spent the first 8 years of my childhood just a kilometre from here.

From the Brilliant mind of Bill Maylone – Maelstrom – available at the Gallery until 2020, for only $795

Just gearing up for my final days of operation before I close for the season on the 16th. This next period of opening is atypical for me as I’m planning on being open Weekdays rather than on a weekend – we’ll see how this experiment plays out, here are my upcoming hours of operation:

Monday December 13, noon til 4pm, Tuesday December 14, 9am til 4pm, Wednesday December 15, 9am til 4pm and Thursday December 16 9am til 4pm

“Somewhere Nearby Soon” Framed Acrylic, a Bathgate original , at the Gallery only $225

And, there’s still time to drop in and enjoy some of the lovely collage work that Famous Empty Sky has produced during the pandemic, “In Isolation Series” with a couple of new pieces added since last week!

These are also the last few days to pop in and grab a coffee and a delicious Christmas Baked Good – lovingly crafted by MJ Tiller…here are some of her creations:

The featured image for this post (above) was made by island (and National) artist Cedar Christie, who sadly passed away last year. It is on loan to the Gallery until her estate sorts out its final destination. If you are interested in purchasing this piece by Cedar, let me know and I’ll make inquiries with her executor.

Shavasana Gallery & Café December Hours

It’s been about three weeks since my last post and during that time I had my busiest weekend ever at the Gallery, BC was visited by the Atmospheric River Rain Disaster, and a new worrisome variant – “The Omicron” – has been discovered in South Africa which has WHO officials concerned.

Despite the pleasant distractions of a buzzing little Gallery Café it’s impossible to ignore the ongoing stresses of the pandemic and the plights of those affected by our regional disaster – my heart goes out to them all. I just spoke to my cousin Dona yesterday who has a small farm in Abbotsford and she and her family and her four horses had to evacuate to higher ground as their property was under 14 inches of water. Her 70 chickens seemed undisturbed by the chaos as their Coop was raised up above the flood, so they remained in place.

Just hours after learning of the new variant coming out of South Africa, I was walking along West Broadway in Kitsilano to go and pick up some Thai Takeout when I noticed this truck…”Omicron – A Better Way”

Of course, we’ll have to see what the new variant brings but until then, Shavasana Gallery & Café will be operating under existing pandemic guidelines for Gallery/Cafés’…masks are mandatory but Vaccine Passports are not, there is limited indoor seating (9 indoor seats at present with about 18 outdoor seats – weather permitting), and a hand-sanitizing station is available…here are our December hours:

Friday December 3rd, 10am-4pm, Saturday the 4th, 10am – 4pm, Sunday the 5th, 10:30am – 4pm, Monday the 6th, 10am – 4pm

I am also intending on opening mid month* as follows:

Monday December 13th, 12noon – 4pm, Tuesday the 14th 10am – 4pm, Wednesday the 15th, 10am – 4pm, and Thursday the 16th, 10am – 4pm (*this is a bit of an experiment as I’ve never been open weekdays before)

As many of you may be aware, I commute from Vancouver to Mayne Island to run Shavasana Gallery & Café. Over the years I’ve chosen to travel by public transit to the ferry and make my crossing as a Foot Passenger, rather than bringing my car, as it saves me thousands of dollars each year in travel expenses. I’ve come to appreciate Public Transit and find sitting on the bus to be relaxing and surprisingly quick, and I have to say that after all these years, I’ve never once considered assaulting a Bus Driver!😆

It seems strange that the Transit Authority has to remind people of this, or, it’s indicative of a much more dangerous job than most of us are aware of. I’m thinking of getting one for the Gallery, “Assaults on Curators will not be Tolerated”…

The featured image for this article is a carved icon we call “The Dancing Lady”…she has been on display at Shavasana Gallery on consignment with me for several years, and is being returned to the owner who “misses her”. The Dancing lady is a wonderfully intricate wooden carving by a member of the Oddar community in India…now I will miss her