Wednesday in Stirling

they cut us loose and let us out on Wednesday morning and oh my goodnezz… walking out of there and into sweet freedom was a brand new experience! lovely bus ride from the Glasgow Airport Hotel to the town of Stirling, sunny and beautiful.

looking south across Forthside Way

three types of weather in one afternoon! we had a blaze of sunshine, lovely, an awesome show of clouds rolled in from the west, next thing we knew it was snowing, or hail… and then pounding down rain! all in the space of about 2 hours.

scenes along Barnton Street, Stirling

i love seeing the architecture! and of course chatting it up with the locals (of all ages!)

at the corner of Murray Pl and King Street

so where is everybody? the empty streets of Stirling! wow. this virus scare is everywhere!

and so that evening after a three hour walk about we returned to the hotel patio and settled in for a nightcap. next to us were two lovely Scottish gals, 18 and 21, blond and full of spirit. we got to chatting with them and yes, it was not easy to follow what they were saying and so the younger one said to the older, stop speaking that, you have to speak english or they won’t understand us! what was that language they were speaking? the Gaelic of Scottish?

it was lovely sounding and they were lovely! silly me, how come i didn’t get some pictures? and i’ve said this before, these gals up here are TOUGH! it was a balmy 2 C yesterday and i saw them out there with their mini skirts, fishnets and clodhoppers, cruising past where i was sitting: No. 2 Baker Street.

now we are well aware of the history around this town! at some point we’re going to take a walk over that famous bridge and take a good look around.

here is a short video of those awesome clouds! (and just 2 short hours into FREEDOM!)

Day 6 behind the Wire

in their books we’re on day 5 of being locked up but in my books we’re on day 6. they don’t count the day we arrived and let me tell you we arrived here first thing on Saturday. and so it is life behind the wire, locked up! i haven’t seen any of the boys since i got here. i get out for my 15 minutes and haven’t seen anyone! i snapped this one this morning at around 630. we have the parking lot and that’s it!

turns out that is the M8 up there. the south view windows at the hotel look out onto that so i’m very happy i have the north view which is the airport and the mighty hills of Scotland out beyond that. plus i have a tree outside my window and…

so yeah. we’re in here. and we’re not getting out till mid next week! which leaves plenty of time to get busy with this:

it would be very cool if we could find a brand new print of this on our desk the Monday morning after we get back. a horror story… rechecked while in lock down…

(so get going lad! (oh yes: over here, i forget that it is us Canadians who have the heavy duty accent!))

Sunday morning at Glasgow

truth is we’re at the hotel out at the airport and we’re under lock down for ten full days! i’m tucked away in a room where all you’ll hear is a knock at the door for breakfast, lunch and dinner. we ain’t going anywhere and there’s a security guard down by the elevator to make sure of that! so we put our jungle training to the test.

one last look at Toronto, Ontario, Canada!

like i said, the plane was nearly empty! once we got the all clear i took off for a window seat. as you know i don’t fly too often so when i do, i want to enjoy the view! i was also very happy to have all that room! the last time we we’re over this way we were packed in like sardines, flights to and from. on this one it seemed like it was just me and that drop dead gorgeous KLM stewardess with the super sexy accent. (i’m like Jamie Lee Curtis in a Fish Called Wanda, when i hear exotica… that does it for me… )

flying over the North Sea

that’s the back of the seat ahead of me: i’m one of those folks who never watches TV but this show, every now and again, was worth a look. 158 of 3800 miles to go! nice flight! no one around so you could stretch your legs! and all those place names, so many things to see. maybe one day we can go there together!

there she is, town of Ifs

i used the view selection on the journey log and zoomed into this section. we’re not going to Caen but as soon as i saw it on the map i zoomed in and up came the town of Ifs. now if you know my blog here on WP, you’ll know how the town of Ifs fits into the story.

switching planes at Schipol, 9 a.m. Saturday

those are some wild high jinx that go on inside the airport these days with the covid thing causing such a fuss. like everyone else in the world, i look forward to when things get back to normal. one way to get along is to stay cool! after the big snit inside the airport we headed out for a look at the selection of planes and got busy with the rest of the journey.

the view on Sunday morning

and so here we are, rise and shine on Sunday morning, dug in. it would’ve been super aces if we had the freedom to toss our luggage aside and head out to the local for a refreshing snort of whatever they have on the taps but none of that is happening for the next ten days. not sure if you can read that blue sign over there but it says Glasgow Airport, and let me tell you it is NOT a hive of activity over there.

St. Andrews Drive in Glasgow, Sunday morning

okay if that’s the deal, it is what it is. we’re here to stay for ten days. the last of the big snits for me was the power converter for the local electricity, i forgot mine at home! duh! the lads at the front desk fixed me up so we’re back online.

and so what are we going to do, locked up for ten days?

there is this project! the very last of the edits which i could never get to while in O Town, is on board this computer and we’ll see to them over the next 24 hours.

the famous “first run”

she’s filled to the brim with errors! and i will admit i am to blame for three of them! we’re here with time on our hands and so we’ll make something of it. on the plus side, i can flip that novel open to any page, start with the reading and be entertained! it IS one WEIRD horror story! and i keep telling them: this thing would go a hundred million if we turned it into a movie! (hopefully the right ears will come along)

Last Week, Chapter 3 of Sun

here is a little taste of the work in progress. hopefully, when this thing gets back from the printers and is squeaky clean and error free, we can put it to bed and go onto the next thing which is tentatively titled: Fighting In Hell…

okay so it is 9 a.m. local time, which means it’s time to go to work. we have today and we’re very thankful for it. GO!

Saturday morning in Amsterdam

6 a.m., 3800 miles later!

that flight was awesome! me and Joe got on board and found the plane empty! except for a few indians up near the front end, the back end was empty! Joe opened up the 4 seats in the middle and created a little bunk and that’s the last i saw of him.

i’m more of a “plenty of time for sleeping in the grave” type so i got me a window seat and watched the Atlantic Ocean roll past!

we’re here now, 6 a.m., bar isn’t open until 7 a.m. for us Canadians, the time is 1 a.m. still time for a splash before we jungle on out to Glasgow and whatever they have for us over there.

more to come!

At Pearson International, Friday afternoon

holy smokes! try getting into this joint in a hurry… no chance. the obstacle course i had to muggle through to get this far… sheesh! it sure takes the fun out of going out on this type of road. anyway, we’re here now, in the KLM special lounge where you have to pay a little extra but man it is worth it. especially after the loony toons going on out there in the general issue service area.

the view on Friday, 3 p.m.

that isn’t our bird out there, me thinks they’re going to wheel in a jumbo at some point as we are going overseas tonight at 5. and what goes on over there, well the boss wants us to keep it quiet about who, what, where, when, and whysville so i can’t give you any details. not that i know anything anyway, about what is going on. all i know is i got this far and its nice to have a special place set aside where you can switch it to glide.

looks like a nice night for flying! clear blue skies and let’s hope and pray those pilots are sober when the get behind the controls.

ah but these are fun adventures. when i was out there waiting for Joe, at the Departures drop off, i saw this indian walking past and he said hey man! turns out it was one of the boys from Wiki! so it seems like the gang is getting back together!

there is a small hawk right outside the window: hanging on the wind…

did i tell you about that dream i had about the cougar?

twinravens ART on the street!

in Unionville, Ontario on the morning of April 10, 2021. nice work! and big!

and back in November of 2020, in the town of Vanier, Ontario. also very cool!

it would be super cool to get this on a huge billboard somewhere! (anywhere!)

and this one too! of course if these were on billboards i’d have to pull over and taken another look!

a little memory lane while we’re at it, music by James Cohen. artwork by Mark Seabrook. most of these pieces are away in private collections.

bottom line is this: we need to keep working!

Coming Soon!

here is the top half of the promo the folks at the Lunar Lanterns in Unionville have in Now Magazine. cool.

those paintings are some of my fave “Mukwa” pictures, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20″, in private collections except for the blue one at bottom right/left. (i had to keep that one!)

so it’s up there in Unionville, at the Varley Art Gallery, happening in April. i hope to see it myself, up close!

starting to get there… photo of the artist by the Great Terry H., photographer/teacher. that’s yours truly out there on the Manitou River, late in July 2020, deep in Indian Country while the pandemic goes on.

yes… starting to get there indeed…

Bear Moon and Family Stories…

Nice work by the good folks at Lunarfest!

The Inner Me

“I never travel without my diary.  One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”  – Oscar Wilde

Cue this music up before reading further:

And so here we are at the end of another year…  Tomorrow night’s party scene is still up for grabs, we haven’t booked any seats at any shows, so the what have you is mightily up in the air.  New Year’s Eve…  and standing on the doorstep to another whole DIFF decade.  As my dad would say:  after we figured we’d lived through the war we started watching our step a bit more in detail.

Well I’m not in where the bullets are flying and the bombs are going off, but I’m out here alone, my 3 older brothers are dead, my 3 younger ones missing.  I would have liked to have spent at least an hour with them over the holiday season but none of that came to pass.  Instead I’m alone here in my crib.

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Bright eyed and bushy tailed: but a castle aint no home when you’re always in it alone.

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I always wonder where they are: in heaven or in hell.  I’m not a christian like them so I don’t know nothing much about it.  All I know is I joined the resistance when I was age 13 and I’d like to entertain them here at my place, all these years later.

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They always said I’d likely go far, after we were reintroduced, all of us, in our very early 20’s or late teens, I was only 18 at the time and hadn’t seen any of them since 1969, or was it 1971?  All I know is when I saw them again, I knew I didn’t want to be like them.  I’d been away far too long and after sitting with them, I knew I’d likely never be going back.  Little did I know, at that time, they were all trauma survivors with this thing they call in mod times:  PTSD.  They didn’t get the special jungle training that I got and they didn’t have a Major like I had.

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I’ve sat here alone for quite some time, wondering about that shack in the woods, back on the blacker side of the rez, back in the mid to late 60’s.  I know we had a wood stove in there because I remember hauling wood back to the house and I have this vague memory of my mom standing there with an arm load of poplar, cut yes, but not split.  When was my dad planning on doing that?

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In the past decade I’ve been there myself, on my own paradise on the range: hauling wood, poplar too, but doing it the old fashioned way, bringing it out one load at time, using a wheelbarrow, and getting a pretty decent work out along the way.  Of course the road out of the back woods was a 2% decline back to the house, so it was easy rolling out those 12 cords.

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In mod times, like here and now, I wonder, how warm those rooms could have been at night, back in 68: who was up tending the fire?  If memory serves, the upstairs had 2 little bedrooms with old mattresses that were falling apart and coming undone and who knows what kind of hell went on up there…  I was going to ask my older brother about it.  I came up with the idea in a July, a few days later he fell over dead and took the stories with him. He’s been dead now, has it been 5 years?

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When I was in university ages ago, an old Indian man sat us down and he said you boys have nothing to worry about right now, but if you have the good fortune of getting as old as me, down the road in those days you’ll be visited by many an old memory, things you’d left alone up until now, as an old man.  I silently and invisibly scoffed at the idea, I was only 22 at the time.  Pretty soon an Anishnabe Kwe walked in and she gave us the Sweetgrass teaching.  She was working on a braid and explaining things to us and she looked at me and said:  if you reach the age you’ll find yourself going through some strange times and maybe seeing some strange things, either here or over there.  Once again I, to myself, scoffed at the idea and I remember it well:  It won’t happen to me.  That is what I said, back when I was 22, when I was as terrible as an army poised for battle.

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But here we are, like they said, at that time, the empty nest looming like never before.  And all of the brothers now long gone.  I have no idea where the survivors are, how they’re doing, what is going on south of us.  South of me.  There is no “us” anymore.

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Me too, chief.  We’re starting to get there!  I see young whippersnappers all the time and I know I am no longer them!  No middle age either!  Nope.  We’re off to another place, if all goes well, with a wee spot of wisdom or a splash of education, maybe we can get through this.  My dad has been gone a long time but I sure do hear his voice these days, telling me what to watch out for, to watch my step, and above all, what to be thankful for.

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I’m not much of a Christmas person, like I said, I’m not a christian, and I don’t buy into how they sell it: that long ago story from overseas.  It makes for a great cash grab yes, in these mod times, but I’d rather give them the cash than to some corporate who ever and so that is what we do.  I’ve never been one for standing in a line over there at the mall.

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Xmas eve has come and gone.  Xmas day is here and been.  Boxing Day I was in the car, alone, and coming back to here.  And through those days I never heard from any of them.  The survivors I mean.

We haven’t booked any seats at any shows for tomorrow night but I hear it and see it all around:  2020:  The Roaring Twenties!  I guess they are.  And they surely were!  I don’t plan on wandering around these empty rooms on such a night, so if you don’t hear from me between now and then:  Best wishes and I hope you have a happy new year, and I hope this time, 12 months from now, we’ll be sharing a few more stories!

And so this was written right before NYE, right before the pandemic landed on us and turned 2020 into a very weird year.  I still haven’t seen any of the younger lads, they’re out there somewhere.  But the oldest one comes to visit me every now and then, or so it seems.  And it’s weird as he visits as the 19 year old he was, when he passed, and here he is visiting this lad up into his 50’s.  There is something strange about that.

Also strange, I was reading this post and it mentions my dad who lived through the war and whose voice I hear all the time, telling me what to watch out for.  It also mentions my dad who never split the wood we were bringing out of the woods back in 68.  They’re two vastly different men.  One man left me in the woods to starve to death, the other saved my life.  

I might have to go into quarantine for a few weeks and if that is the case I’m going to bring this typewriter with me and write this thing tentatively called “Fighting In Hell” about my art journey as a 60’s Scoop Survivor.  Other cooler heads in the outfit want to call it “Crashing the Thunderbird”, so the title for this thing is still up for grabs.  One thing is for sure, it IS an art journey and I need several days and nights to sit down in a room with a view, in more social isolation, and write this thing.  Maybe play some Erik Satie while I’m writing the first draft.  

I’ll let you know how it goes.

March 11, 2021.

Woodland School style by twinravens

(This was originally posted way back ages ago…  )

here is my version of the Anishnaabe Woodland School of art, founded by the great Norval Morrisseau, and introduced to the art world in Toronto, way back in September 1962.  what a great artist journey/adventure Norval M. went on after that!  all the way to the National Gallery of Canada in 2006/07.  i’m a long way from having my work in the N.G.C.!  but here is my version anyway:

A Self Portrait on November 30th by Mark Seabrook

Self Portrait on November 30th, acrylic on canvas, 30×40 inches.  Private collection.

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Feeding the Wolf, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches.  Private collection.

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Anishnabe at Full Moon, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches.  Artist collection.

Bear Clan with White Raven

Bear Clan, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches.  Artist collection.

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Water Spirit, Homage to Norval M., acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches.  Private collection.  (the paint wasn’t even dry when that one went out the door!)

Moose Nahmiwan
Moose Nahmiwan, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches. Painted on the Range in March 2015.  Private Collection.
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Indian Residential School Survivor, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches.  Available for purchase:  $4000

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Anishnabe Woodland Nights, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches.  Private collection.

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches, getting ready to ship out.  Private collection.

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Me, standing next to a Norval Morrisseau acrylic on canvas at the National Gallery of Canada.  A lot of us anishnaabe boys who are painters owe a salute to the great Norval M. and his high and mighty work.

(This is March 10, 2021: A quick art show for you recent followers of the twinravens blog:  we have more on the way!)