Black Sheep Gallery Nova Scotia is the place to visit this summer. Our weather has been sunny and warm with cool ocean breezes and lots of things to do, including food and wine tours and events like Lobster-Licious, a new local food event running from July 4 – 26, featuring non-traditional and delicious lobster dishes from various food establishments across Cape Breton Island. And don’t forget our annual folk art festival in Lunenburg a great place to visit anytime, and in the eastern part of the province, the Stan Rogers Folk Music Festival. We are open by appointment this summer so drop us a line if you are in the area.

This month we have several artworks to show you from the Don and Jeannie Allen collection. Like many collectors, the Allens, who have been collecting for over 30 years, sold occasional pieces of folk art, while keeping the better pieces for their private collection. The two paintings by Leo Naugler are from a period when Leo was, in our opinion, doing some of his best work. The large painting of a farmyard with a rooster and hen and several newly hatched chicks is eye catching with Leo’s iconic splatter paint in the feathers of the chickens and on the artist painted frame. The other painting has one of his carved and decorated yellow frames, and features people gleefully paddling in the water while the builders of the folk art boat are “haveing fun”. This is the first painting by Leo I have seen with glitter paint lighting up the evening sky.

The painting of the black cat is by Mark Robichaud and is reminiscent of the work of the late U.S. outsider artist Levent Isik. This work is partly done in relief to accentuate the features of the cat. We have not seen any new work from Mark in the last few years and are unsure whether he is still active.

The centerpiece of the Allen collection is the beautiful Inuit woman by Bradford Naugler, done in 1993. In this carving, Bradford pays tribute to the Inuit culture by creating a coat and scarf which is a tapestry of colour and animals from the Inuit life. As complicated a work as we have seen from Bradford, the pièce de resistance of the carving are the tiny owl slippers.

We were also very lucky to find a painting by Everett Lewis. It is one of his classic scenes with the doe eyed oxen with brightly coloured head gear and tiny Maud Lewis with her whip standing beside them. Everett, who was essentially illiterate, has once again spelled his name wrong.

Enjoy this beautiful weather. We are headed out to go fishing!

Stay safe everyone.

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