Acrylic sketches


Acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, c. 2016.  Private collection.


Acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, c. 2016.  Private collection.


Acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, 2018.  Available.

up here on the 9th, with the blue skies deluxe, you can see colours in a brand new way!


Snap shots from the road!

hey…  i thought i heard a robin yesterday morning…  Sunday morning, March 11th, Markham, Ontario.  music to this boy’s ears!  i’m ready to bring on some spring time climes!  but lets go back a few weeks with the photo story:


acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, from late January 2018.  i was dreaming about the wintery fields back home!


my sweet and beautiful Jazzy Moon, Zak’s Diner, Ottawa, February 7th.  hey i’ll be completely honest with you:  this stuff about letting your kids go, them growing up and leaving home, it’s one of the most difficult things this old boy has had to deal with.


McKay Arts Centre, that groovy studio space on main street, Unionville, February 27th.  hmmm…  a room like that, back home on the range, for those hot summer nights…


blazing down highway 401, 8:42 p.m. on March 4.  i love everything about my Jazzy Moon so i said sure, plug your music into the car stereo and lets give it a listen…  oh boy.  i heard 3 hours of death metal!  the last half hour of the trip was spent listening to the classic oldies station on the radio and thank the almighty the first song to come on was America’s Horse With No Name!


one of Karl’s works, with the owner’s initials embroidered inside…


and there it is, for 80 bucks, at the St. Vincent De Paul, Wellington Street, Ottawa, March 5th.  that coat was heavy, the real deal.  i wonder what husband paid a whack of $$$ for that, for his old lady, the both of them now long gone, dust and bones…  and here is this prized coat of hers, hanging in a second hand shop…  time marches on for all of us…


blazing up highway 400, 1:17 a.m., March 8th.  radio blasting!  no death metal!  i was on my own, going back to the north country.


Mask making, day 2, AOK indian reserve, Manitoulin Island, March 9th.  those are my two examples of what can be done with a neutral white face mask, markers, ball point pen, crayons, and one half hour!  there were some mighty fine looking works of art created by the 70 plus participants!  (email me if you have a group session in need of any art making activities!  we travel anywhere, any time!)


ah yes…  the old “Savage Arms” label with the ever popular “indian head” as part of the logo.  gun case, Canadian Tire, Espanola, March 9th.


the ROM, as seen from the corner of Avenue Road and Bloor, Toronto, March 11th.  fun place to visit but heaven’s lets go again on an off day!  the day we were there it was packed to the rafters!  (Viking exhibit)


University of Toronto Pow wow, March 11th.  long before the grand entry the vendors arrive and set up shop.  nice room for a pow wow!  lets go back to that one next year and bring the feathers along for some dancing!


“water spirit sketch”, acrylic on canvas board, 11×14 inches.  University of Toronto pow wow, March 11.  i like that one.


sunrise in Markham, Ontario, March 12th, as seen from the 9th!  it would appear, from where we are today, that spring is in the air!  i’m a big fan of changing seasons.  when i was out there yesterday morning and heard that robin singing, well that soon had me singing!

roll out the early sunrise!

96 Days on the Road


the Crib:  on January 22, 2018, foggy and mild.  inactive paint brushes going on a full 25 days by this point in time.  inside, up there on the 9th, it’s cosy and warm, an easy warm too, no fire keep.  been hearing things like “The Swan”, The Carnival of the Animals, among other like tunes, through these winter nights.


driving this limo, and waiting around in a few of the local strip mall parking lots for a you know who, i kind of feel like a gangster/mobster, with my long black coat and black hat, middle aged, looking around, sometimes glancing at a cell phone.  the folks who see me…  they’re giving me the eye.  possibly wondering…


we’re a long way from the scenes around Tehkummah and Snowville.  but then down here, we’re a long way from a lot of things.


Anishnabe at sunrise, Jan. 25th.  kind of peculiar how things work themselves out…


its not all gangsta mobster stuff in this boy’s camp.  there is still time to look at some art!  Le Voyageur sur la terre, 1958, oil on canvas, 33×53.5 inches, Jean Paul Lemieux (1904-90), Private Collection.  Currently hanging at the Varley Gallery, Unionville.

the gallery at Unionville has some pretty kooky things happening and on display, much of it, as far as i’m concerned, can be seen in a very short amount of time, but this one, Le Voyageur sur la terre…  hmmm…


Detail.  every now and again i see something that reminds me of my own long ago childhood experience, a piece of art that will remind me of folks who are now, long gone.


Detail.  or maybe its the composition itself: the use of 2 D space.  whatever it is, i had to come back to the gallery and take another look at this piece.


Le Voyageur sur la terre, Jean Paul Lemieux, and me!  (using the force…  (ha ha!))


also catching my eye:  Early Evening, Atlantic Shores, c. 1922, oil on board, 8.5×10.5 inches, J.E.H. MacDonald, Collection of the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, gift of the estate of, 1996.


Detail.  yes.  reminds me of back home, on the shores of Carter’s Bay, looking south at the great Lake Huron.  time is running out son…

and so!!!  the twinravens road show is gearing up!  although my paint brushes have been inactive for the past 30 days (not happy about that!)(sometimes though, what are you going do?)(write?) we are booking road shows and we ARE ready to go!!!  so i hope to cross paths with you soon!



Live From Rotten Ronnie’s!

Sunday morning, January 7, 2018:  at the Rotten R’s, 7 and McCowan, alone, but in with a diverse bunch of languages and “Pulp Fiction” style Sunday morning stories i’m sure.  yes i am here alone.  in days of old i’d be in here with a little girl who would call me Daddy, but she’s grown up and let me go.

you’d have to scroll through quite a few years of this blog to find the classic rock and roll story, the adventures of a father and his daughter, when my beautiful Mnageezhigaate and i were in a place like this, but in Ottawa.  she was grade 1 or 2, and one Saturday morning we were out together.  we took a table smack dab in the middle of the seating area and around were elderly ladies, all of them seated alone at their tables, separate and apart from each other, watching this man with his little girl.  she was stealing the show of course and as an ex stage actor, i knew my place and was playing the role of kooky side kick, comedic relief.

Jazz was going on about her week and her world and i was listening, as were the elderly ladies at the tables around us, and watching her.

i think the line was:  Dad, why would you leave this perfectly good french fry behind?

Jazz picked it up and started munching on it.  i replied:  Because it fell on the floor,  you wasn’t eatin it none now was you?  (i of course stole that line right out of an Oliver Stone movie!  (name that movie!))(and i tried to play it like the character in said movie-famed actor…  (name that actor) )

Jazz reacted in grand style, hacking, coughing and spitting the french fry out.  that was enough to bring a smile and even some laughter from the elderly ladies sitting around us.

and that was good enough for this old boy:  being with his little girl, and providing some smiles for others who were obviously very alone.

the french fry of course had not fallen on the floor.  it was on the tray, i was planning on eating that thing.  but the comedy was worth much more.

Photo on 2018-01-07 at 8.52 AM #3

we’re a long way from those days!  here i am today, alone, with U2: Where The Streets Have No Name, blasting over the house stereo.  ah but the memories…  i sure do remember the morning U2 The Joshua Tree was released!  i was on the home stretch at art school, spring was in the air, the end of that adventure was in sight.

those lights up there, in the above photo, kind of remind me of Ed Hopper’s 1927 masterpiece:  Automat.  the story goes that Ed sold that for a cool $1200 smackeroos!  not a bad exchange when you plug in what inflation does.  a gallon of gasoline in 1927: 10 cents?!!!

going back to the U2 thing:  i ran off to Sam The Record Man and bought the album right away and played the heck out of it.  loved it from front to back.  this was back in my “motel year”, 3rd year art school, and 3 years into being self taught on the guitar.  my band: The Fuzzy Lines, was still a power trio (ha ha!!) and still had not played a live show.  we had written a lot of songs together and pressed record on a ghetto blaster outfitted with a microphone i bought at Radio Shack.  we recorded about 50 songs, live off the floor, 3 acoustic guitars, throughout the 3 years of art school.  funny stuff!

one morning in my motel room, it was spring time, i was getting ready to fuss out the door and hit the studios for some painting.  Q107 was my radio station through the cable wire, so i had that station on night and day.  they of course were playing U2 Joshua Tree songs about 10 times a day.

so this one morning i’m getting ready to jump in the dragon wagon (a 1976 Pontiac Catalina 2 door hard top with the big 454) and take off for the school and this song, In God’s Country, comes on the radio.  i stopped and for those first 8 seconds listened intently.  pretty soon the big sound of the song started and i remember saying to myself:  i don’t know how, and i don’t know when, but one day i’m going to be playing a guitar in a rock and roll band and we’re going to be doing a big show.


well it didn’t turn out quite as i expected but here i am, last summer i mean, 30 years later, playing guitar with a rock and roll band.  p.s.  that rock and roll story isn’t over!


THIS!!!  is one of my favourite photos from that fun weekend, back in July 017.  5 minutes before the show!  butterfly city.

any who.  the days march to a set drum, folks come and go, and some are gone forever.  i’m still here!  good to go for now.  and it is before noon which means there are a lot of things a fella can do with a day.  so lets get busy and do it.


ICE COLD! New Year!

happy new year!  6 days in and 6 days in the deep freeze!  minus 29 at 12 noon.  wasn’t too far back i was rambling on about the heat wave, Indian Summer style, glorious September on the range, 100 F.

ah.  we’ll be back on the range sometime soon!  and this deep freeze will run along.


from the pages of the sketch book:  should old acquaintance be forgot?  when it comes to sketching an old idea: the answer is no.  at least in the twinravens art camp.  the character with the stories inside, needs to be revisited with a steady hand.


Tehkummah landscape, 2016, acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches.  Artist collection.  same can be said about the landscape!  there are a lot of very interesting books down here, packed full of artist stories (2 of my personal faves are Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko and how they came to meet Peggie G.!  inspiring!)


Tehkummah landscape, 1 of original series of 21.  2013.  acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches.  Artist collection.  yes x 3!!!  when i get back to the art bridge, there is going to be a brand new play in town!


Fun times in March/April 1987

“In a One Door Room, I Rise Away”, 1 in a series of 4, 1987, acrylic on canvas, 30×48 inches.  Private Collection.  hmmm…


well sure it might be minus 38 at night, but it is Canada and it is a winter wonderland.  so at night it isn’t such a bad deal me thinks: a good book or a film, the blaze and something full bodied from the red selections and maybe a little photo book featuring fave scenes from warmer days, ah yes!


one step at a time, into another year!  big ideas and high hopes!  plus a decent supply of art materials, and a room with a view!


i hope you enjoyed a warm and wonderful holiday season and will have many happy memories to cherish.  many wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year!



New sketches

we’re up here on the 9th:  what a view!  and we’ve been up here now, going on 2 months!  such differences from the open range, like:  on the range it takes a bit of effort to get that wood stove blaze going the morning of, and maintaining it, not to mention the heavy lifting involved with bringing the wood in from the back 50!  the old timers say that is some fire wood that keeps you warm twice!  up here on the 9th, all a fella needs to do is flick a switch.  photos to follow soon.

nice room for sketching!  and here are a few of the latest:


Raven on the Range, 2017, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Available for purchase.


Raven on the Range, 2017, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Available for purchase.


Raven on the Range, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 7×9 inches.  Available!

IMG_2464 - Version 2

I.R.S. No. 3, 2017, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  (a re do of the original idea and definitely going to the canvas at a later date)


I.R.S. No. 4, 2017, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  (another re do of the original idea, also going to the big canvas at a later date)

fun stuff!  lets keep painting.


winter wonder landing…

snow has landed and i’m wondering how the cats are managing, up there on the range.


the range on Feb. 2, 2013:  a perfect place for cats, candles, the blaze on full, and cooking over that wood stove too!  a tasty red goes well.


the range in June, 2017:  still perfect for cats and candles, maybe skip the blaze but keep the red vin!


one of Jazzy Moon’s cats, 2017, 7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board.  this is the guy who comes along around 3 a.m. and wakes you up.  he’s worth a picture book story!

we’ve got the tree up!  the holiday stash is looking good.  all we need is for the family to arrive!