Black Sheep Gallery Wow! It is already June and we are feeling a little guilty about missing our newsletter last month. May was filled with busy days of finding new art for the gallery which we hope to eventually share with you. Along with everyone else we were excited about the fantastic result of $413,000 CAD (including premium) achieved for a Maud Lewis painting at a recent auction. Of course, all of those fortunate enough to have one will tell you they are priceless. You can read all about it in an article from The Record, Waterloo Region.

We are pleased to add several artworks to the web site. The first is a surreal painting by Lorne Reid (1954 – 1991). One of the finest folk artists from Cape Breton, Lorne's career was abruptly halted when he lost his fight with cancer in 1991, at the age of 38. During the time he was active he was creating some of the most original art to come out of Nova Scotia. Lorne experimented with a variety of styles and this large painting has the surreal quality of a dream with a number of objects unrelated both to the scene and to each other, such as a deer, whirligigs and fish. According to Lorne’s brother, the seated woman is Lorne’s one true love, and was painted when they were together. After she left him, he painted the mask over her face.

The painted bread box by Leo Naugler is also an unusual piece. Leo often incorporated found items in his work, including those he found in his brother’s scrap yard. Apparently one year he was staying close to home and he painted on the items he took from his mother’s kitchen. This pop art bread box with its intense optical colour vibrations is one of a kind.

On the other hand, Barry Colpitts’ blue handmade memory box is more characteristic of the whimsical style from Nova Scotia’s current folk artists. It includes his signature stars and seagulls and he has placed a lovely little red cardinal on the top as a handle. Barry will be at the Lunenburg Folk Art Festival this summer, but we expect he will resume working on his whirligig farm once that is over.

The painting of Burin, Newfoundland was created by Bronson Smith in 2003. Burin was settled as a fishing community in 1718. A self taught artist from Ontario, Bronson sometimes painted scenes from Newfoundland because his father was stationed there during WWII. He was inspired by the work of Paterson Ewen and used a router to add depth and detail to his paintings. He also added pine and balsa strips to add depth to his work. We have another painting of his which we acquired about thirty years ago and I know my husband will never part with it.

The beautifully aged goose is by Merrill Stewart (1926 – 2008). It does have some cracking but we always felt that signs of age and wear often add to the beauty of the piece. Eddie Mandaggio introduced us to Merrill. He was surprised that we were interested in his work which he stored in a shed behind his house. His fish and roosters with bed spring tails were unique in their form and execution. Because of his health, Merrill’s body of work is limited, and we feel fortunate to have recently acquired this piece.

After some consideration, we have decided to open only by appointment this summer. We are enjoying our online experience and many of our customers are requesting images of work by artists in our inventory that are not included on the web site. If you see something that you like and it is already sold just drop us an e-mail at and we will let you know if we have something else by the same artist.

Stay safe everyone.

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