SUN INFINITY MOON (2)

we are gearing up! we have version 2 almost ready to go! perfect time for it too it being close to Halloween! a HORROR story indeed…

we’re hoping it’s going to look something like this. that painting: Feeding the Wolves, is an acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches, c. 2008, and now long gone, in a private collection somewhere on the west coast. i hope whatever photos we have of that painting… we can doctor up for this new cover.

not sure which version of the early layouts (what we see here is Version 1) this is but what i can confirm is this is the opening bit! i cut this screen just short of the “coarse language” which this story is full of! you see… me don’t speak english too good no how! actually it goes like this: me no speak english too good no how! (messed that first one up! ha!)

ah yes… May 11, 1996. i remember it well. what grand and glorious times. remember the days when a camera used film and you had a walloping 36 frames to use?

the opening to “Last Month” or what we’ve had in a few short story contests over the years: “The Lottery Ticket”. you see that bit on page 29: (Oh my gods I loved her words!) how many editors have we had who flagged that “gods” bit? ha ha!

the opening bit to Chapter 3: Last Week. and so the horror begins! truth is i can crack open that little novel and read it from any a where’s and enjoy it quite nicely!

now to get it tuned up and the layout folks i hope this time don’t cause a fuss!

check out these words of wisdom: Don’t ask for feedback on your product, ideas or business just for validation. You want to tell the people who can help you move your idea forward. If you’re just looking to your friend, partner, parents, etc. for validation-be careful-It can stop a million dollar idea in its tracks at the beginning!

(and it has throughout my own past!!!)

my old buddy Sara Blakely, those are her words of wisdom.

and so! we wait now for the new layouts, the new cover, etc. the bills have been paid so the road is opened and lined with signs!

what it is is this: authentic Indigenous literature written by a real live Indian! we’re not doing the Joseph Boyden trip or the Grey Owl who done it now…

so GO!

twinravens ART on the street

that is “Power Bird”, acrylic on canvas board, 14×18 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook! the lovely gal holding the painting is from Central Asia! and we are on the streets of Vanier on October 23rd.

the photographer is from Central America! and of course yours truly is from Central Canada: the grand and glorious Manitoulin Island, Ontario, to be exact.

so yes… what we’re doing there, i’m not a hundred percent sure where we’re off to with the idea but it belongs to them and i’ll wait and see what becomes of it. stayed tuned for an update.

Power Bird, the last of the finished paintings before the pandemic hit and shut us down. we at twinravens had a wonderful list of road shows we were to attend, bringing the art to the people, but sadly: no dice.

and no Halloween this year… now i seriously have the blues over that one as this boy is a serious halloween fan! more than xmas. more than new year. Halloween is THE fave, but sadly, and again: no dice. what to do with this Saturday night?

it might be me and where the wild things are come Halloween this year. (painting: anishnabe at night, acrylic on canvas board, 14×14 inches, c. 2005. Private Collection.)

The Swanky 9th, Vol. 3

made the drive from O Town to here using highway 7, thought i’d switch things up! and so here we are at another midnight, on the 9th. let me tell riding down highway 7 over there by Carleton Place… did i tell you about that scene i came upon while driving home from my last visit to the 9th? it was 2 sunday evenings ago: i came across a scene of carnage all over the highway and vehicles pulled over including a couple of transport trucks. as i rolled up on the scene, around 10 p.m., i also saw a very mangled bicycle and someone lying on the road and it was clear to me that whoever that was on the road was going to die that night. they were still alive when i passed but i knew… cops hadn’t arrived. no ambulance. so it had just happened.

the next day i was stuck in a 2 p.m. traffic jam in O Town and heard it on the cbc radio news: cyclist, 28, dead. run over by a transport. died in hospital.

i gave that a think tonight as i rolled right past that scene from 2 weeks ago. brutal. but then there are scenes of brutality everywhere you look, or so it seems, these days, over there in O Town. and this virus crap has everyone so upside backwards. or almost everyone. every now and again i come across some mighty cool cats!

a day at the office

Tuesday afternoon we had to shoot a little sequence: artist to artist! i had no idea what the plan was, the agenda, or brew ha ha, was. so i said to the other artist: let’s just wing it. i think we nailed it on the first take. the film crew said we should do another but the artist i was with said nope! it’s fine! (when it comes to THIS kind of show bizz… i like to just go get it. wham!)(maybe we can share the clip here whenever it’s ready)

cool

it was fun to chat with a First Nations artist who has ten years on me. i knew all the names but have never met some of those folks like: Norval Morrisseau. Jack Pollock. etc. the artist i was yakking with on Tuesday had some very interesting tales, up close style stuff you don’t get to read in the history books or the newspapers. we both agreed that what the younger Indigenous artists are doing, like the gig in the above photo, is pretty slick!

we also agreed that WOW! time flies! and the counting of the many blessings, daily, is something worth going after. (i didn’t tell him about that solid GOLD horse shoe i have stowed… )

the swanky 9th as seen from the Markville Mall parking lot

and i sure didn’t tell anyone about that dude i saw who went and got himself run over by a transport on highway 7 just 2 short weeks ago… i’m up here now, after midnight, thinking about it!

but we’re here on business. and i hope it goes alright.

back in the good old days when we could actually visit the schools!

i know this virus crap has everything going Planet of the Apes (Charlton Heston 1968 version) but there is still ROOM for making art presentations and reaching out in community service and i am so thankful for that! some folks have the goods and they have to be delivered.

M.H. Collection

this one has been selected! the details aren’t in but when i see it on the streets, i’ll be sure to post some photos of, right here!

Moose Nahmiwan, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches. Painted on the Range in March 2015

i was one of the lucky ones, so far: so good. we’ll keep our fingers crossed and pray that GOLDEN horse shoe doesn’t ever come loose!

while all this is happening we won’t forget that this is happening too!

Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island, August 2020

i walked on the sands at Providence Bay last August, an early morning stroll and gosh… what true love.

Thanksgiving Weekend

Saturday afternoon on the Range

our prayers were answered in the blue skies department! we had them on Saturday and wow! the light and space out here, a total 180 from the wilds we were in the day before. we were also blessed, i was, with my two sisters visiting on Saturday afternoon! i had the both of them sitting around my table as i prepared the turkey and the stuffing (a little too much salt in that stuffing boy… ). i have not seen my two sisters together in my kitchen since i don’t know when.

The skies were filled with eagle song

we counted 5 bald eagles sailing up and down the river on Saturday and they were back on Sunday, hooting and hollering up and down by the waterfall. what music they make! and what a show they put on, two of them flying together in what looked like a dance. they’re here again this morning plus 2 huge bluejays going to work on the new bird feeder.

Eagles on Sunday afternoon!

they were landing in the trees out front. we had the binoculars, 3 pairs of them, bird watching Tehkummah style when suddenly we had the idea about getting the super Celestron NexStar telescope that we normally use to view Saturn, pointing out the sliding glass doors. Jasmine Moon had the bright idea of putting her cell phone camera up to the eyepiece and boom! we’re up close and personal with those birds! here is one i snapped using my little phone. with that big telescope we could see the eyes of the eagle and the sun gleaming off them! what a show! the view through the telescope was crystal clear, unlike this photo.

walking the green and blue: the trail along side the river on Saturday afternoon-what fabulous memories to go with! the fun folks we’ve had walking up and down there over the past ten years. i can never walk down that trail without thinking of them. on this day i was thinking about a gal and the afternoon of July 28th. what a beauty it was and what fun we had down there at the waterfall. at the time i was day 4 into the vacation and working on a full body tan! it worked out alright!

Autumn on the Range

some local boys came by and mowed the hay off the field this year and the truth is i kind of like seeing it mowed. i must say the autumn fragrance out there: a thing of beauty.

Michelle’s medicine wheel and ceremonial grounds.

we haven’t had the time to give it the attention it needs. michelle’s healing grounds have, well. we’re not home to work it like we want but yesterday we mowed down the weeds and exposed the path ways. about an hour later those eagles arrived and it seemed to us they were looking at it.

An Autumn afternoon on the Range

the gals had to make a run to town and left me here alone for a couple of hours, holy mackinaw lads it was a gigantic open space for just one person. once again, memory lane! i was reminded of my September mornings just 5 short years ago, just after Labour Day, when my Jasmine Moon moved away to attend high school in O Town. her mom went with for that first week and i stayed behind. the school bus rolled up to our driveway, stopped and opened the door. i waved them on. and they rolled on and never came back. shudders… all of everything that was a father and his daughter in childhood seemed to sail away at that very moment. brutal!

but i turned it around by thinking about Indian Summer 2017. 6 weeks in paradise, smoking heat, blue skies, the river blasting, canvas and paint at the ready, fine wines, alien abductions.

Sunday evening on the Range

we were lucky! the sun was high and bright, the climes quite pleasant, good food, fun vins, the eagles, wow. what a weekend. and what a gang, thank you for coming over!

but it’s Monday morning. everyone is gathering their gear and we’re on the road soon. 8 hours worth at the least, there is no short version of the drive we’re going to make.

thank goodness i had the camera phone going and we shot up some videos. we put those on the twinravens2000 youtube channel they’re solid gold come 9 a.m. at the office in a land far away.

Back home, on the Range

it’s 3 a.m. and we’re home! gosh it is freakishly warm out there for 3 a.m., 17 C. there is a half moon in the east and the sky is filled with stars. no sirens. no unpleasant sounds… nothing but the great wide open.

i’m hoping my maple tree down by the river looks like this come day light!

Thanksgiving at the River

tomorrow is supposed to be a balmy 16 C and sunny! Thanksgiving weekend on the range, definitely worth the 8 or 9 hour drive to get here! what peace! and i can hear the river…

The Swanky 9th, Vol. 2

before sunrise on Sunday, October 4th: up here in the cosy climes, looking out at highway 7 and the town of Markham, lights in every direction, and time on our hands! you see all of our autumn and xmas art show and sales opportunities we had booked ages ago, have been cancelled! NO ART SHOWS since my last gig back on March 7th: The York University Pow wow.

Me and What’s his name…

also cancelled: my trip back to Scotland! me and Joe were called up and we were ready for that trip! i haven’t seen Joe since i don’t know when, and i haven’t seen this guy, not sure what his name is, since when we were over there.

4 weeks at the office, way back in, was it June 2018? ah well… we’ll get back to the MacKays dining room and The Coach House one of these days.

so yes. no art gigs. no movie gigs. no trips to the NGC. and five will get you ten says all the Halloween parties will be cancelled…

Halloween 2019: we always did the parties and i was glad there were so many swinging bashes to go to!

don’t judge me till you’ve walked a mile in my shoes… (Ha! a darling friend of mine said she couldn’t get 10 steps in those!)(Halloween 2019)

Anishnabe Woodland style Moose, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook. 36×48 inches, sharpie marker on shipping grade cardboard. drawn on September 30, 2020. i’m still doing art classes but ever since March 13th we’ve been doing them “virtually”, online with Facebook and Youtube. here is the result of class number 11: What can be done in 25 minutes using Sharpie Markers, cardboard and 36×48 inches!

let me tell you that a virtual classroom is far and away from the heavy duty magic that goes into a “live performance”! (my art classes are a bit of a wild and crazy extravaganza!)

from the pages of Book 8: Art Journals and Found Poetry. in class 12 we covered the repurposed books and black out poetry/art journaling adventure. i heard back from a few participants! they asked: how can you do that to a book?!!! my answer is: these are repurposed books from the goodwill, next stop for these books is the landfill! so we’re doing our families a favour by creating something that is going to last for 50 or 60 years.

(when we get the Hard Cover version of SUN INFINITY MOON i’ll try some black out/found poetry and art journaling with that book of HORROR!)

Art Journals and Found Poetry using repurposed books.
The Clone Trees, Found Poetry, Book 3

and so we’re NOT gearing up for a trip downtown this morning to some swanky venue, art show and sales op., but instead pondering a walk around the pond over there at Toogood, Unionville. and this afternoon we’re taking the back roads from Markham back to O Town and we won’t be in a rush.

Autumn in the city

back in the old days, like say five years ago, i’d be spending my September Saturday rolling the firewood out of the back 50 using the wheelbarrow. what a work out that was and some mighty fine looking arms, shoulders, back, the whole kit and ka boodle, tuned up nicely, from that gig! and a wonderful way to spend an autumn day too, walking in and out of there in peace, with good old Poochie on point.

somewhere in O Town

we’re a long way from that out here in the wilds of O Town. it’s a mighty fine sunny morning, cool too, but zero chores involving any heavy lifting.

somewhere in O Town

truth is there are a lot of unfinished paintings in here, and all they need is another half hour each to become something. why they’re sitting where they are, going on fifteen weeks now… kind of does scare up some questions.

somewhere in O Town

with this virus crap running all the good folks upside crazy, and shutting down all the fun stuff like festivals and the Saturday night club scene, art show and sales opportunities too, it, for me anyway, takes the wind out of my art making sails. that brand new paint i’m trying to figure out: Golden Acrylics, Series 1, is sitting here, waiting to go. and sad to say, it is gathering dust!

somewhere in O Town

and we’re in the city now, for the long haul. summer is OVER! we had our chance. but i feel pretty good about those 20 plus days in July and August. i maxed those ones! thank goodness for a thousand photos from said adventure!

the road home

oh my goodness yes, and we kept a journal through it all! the day i snapped this one, a loverly walk it was, the 2 miles up to town. what a day!

at home

and the waterfall will be there when i get back. that is one thing we can count on for sure. in a time when you never know anymore what you can count on, especially over here, looking back at times, is a relaxing thing.

the art stash less one

so we have a bunch of them on the walls here. and a bunch of them, like i said, in need of just a short 30 minutes, all over the place, plus the guitars, microphones, GarageBand, short stories to write, etc., man we have got to get busy! this is quite unlike rolling the wood out of the back 50!

i can’t imagine walking through the National Gallery with a face mask on…

i miss walking through the collection over there at the NGC. but there is a collection here and some motivation!

Tehkummah Scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.

we can’t do our art bridge paintings over here, that is what the Tehkummah Scenes series is all about: art bridging! but thank goodness we have a few here we can enjoy.

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

we have a call up for one of these, not too big, 18×24 inches, and hopefully i can get this Golden Acrylics figured out! we’ll start on that today: figuring out that Golden, maybe on said 18×24.

3rd Gear

the gear box has 5 of them but out here on a Sunday morning all you need is 3. 40 km/h, and no particular place to go. that is the outback in Tehkummah on a Sunday morning drive: beautiful! Labour Day weekend, sunny and WOW! so glad i made the trip on Friday night.

sunrise on Saturday morning: on the range and in PEACE! it is a long drive, 8 hours at the very least, but seeing this makes it.

wow! what a way to start a new day! every window out here has a beautiful view but at sunrise those big sliding glass doors, Shell sure had a grand idea!

Tehkummah skies on Saturday, September 5th. wow! what a breath taking scene.

it did rain for about 2 minutes! a sun shower and gosh those rain drops were cold! those August rains are in the past.

the scene on 15th sideroad, north of 2nd concession, one of my favourite roads to drive. saw this and had to pull over!

when i got back to the range, from my little drive around the neighbourhood i did some cloud watching on the new front deck and saw these beauties sailing by, going east from west.

imagine having nothing better to do than watch the clouds go by on a Saturday afternoon, in the last weekend of summer!

that is the kind of day it was on Saturday, a real beauty! and i had the whole thing to myself. mind you, some company would have been nice.

sunset on the range, what a place of PEACE! wow. all of it was everything i imagined! i am so thankful!

the FINISHED deck! she’s ready for entertaining! that beauty is enormous, over 300 square feet out there! wow! never mind any social distancing and face mask crap out here!

that bat house is the first thing to go when i get back here for an extended period of time. i don’t want that thing getting in the way of my billion dollar view. and out there on the front deck at sundown, there is a billion dollar view in every direction. so we have a lot to be thankful for.

but it is Sunday, Labour Day weekend, and we have fun things in the hopper, so let’s quit with the typing and start with the fun!

Late Summer 2020

The Range on Saturday

here we are, September 2, Labour Day and the end of summer looming! last Friday I thought okay… what to do with Saturday and Sunday? but i heard the sirens and noise and insanity of the city every week night and said to myself: we’re going for it. 8 hours down the highway, we’re going.

The deck is nearly finished!

i arrived on the range at 3:30 a.m. what a gigantic change in scenery, sound, smells, the whole kit and ka boodle! the first thing i did was call out for my old buddy Percy who had been listed as missing in action, going on 2 weeks by that point in time. no sign of him, and so he is gone. that was the blues at that hour but when the sun came up i saw my brand new big time steps on my brand new deck! later in the day i saw my old buddy Bob the Cat out there sleeping on the 2nd from top step, over there on the far end. i’m very happy to see that deck out there. took only, what? ten years? in this case, it’s all about the money. or lack thereof! anyway it is here now. and i’m going to enjoy many a fine morning, afternoon and evening out there.

An August evening

it wasn’t the smoking hot 30 plus C out there this past weekend. truth is it was down right breezy and 20, and the sky was filled with drama, the clouds shape shifted their way across our sky throughout the day and what wonderful scenes.

Saturday night on the range

that’s good old Poochie (Poochie has 3 names, depending on who is in the residence!) in the recline on Saturday night. i kind of wondered if she was thinking about Percy and where he got off to. by this point in time the kids had arrived from O Town and they sure were in need of some refreshments and fresh air! there was plenty of both out there at that hour!

Saturday night on the range

the kids arrived and moved in, 4 of them, and i’m not sure which ones were brand new to the range but it was quite a sight. i said to them, after they were settled in, notice the light and noise pollution out here!

A room with a view!

there’s Bob the Cat. we’re both waiting on the moon. and it is that time of the summer when you can leave those big windows open and not have to worry about any critters flying in! (remember that blog entry of mine from September 2017: the fine wine, the dark nights, the alien abduction, the big windows open, something out there to the north east… )

The moon on Saturday night.

and so she arrived as expected, but gosh she was far south! quite unlike say, the Berries Moon, July. and that green grass was cool to the bare feet, quite unlike say, an evening in July.

i watched this scene for a few moments, that is looking south east, and behind me the house was filled with chatter and laughter, beautiful. i turned around to see lights blazing out of every window. the kids were at home and moved in. wonderful! beautiful.

Big Lake, Manitoulin Island, Sunday morning in August

what i like to do is get up before the sunrise and enjoy the show and out there on the range there is a show every morning! but i also like to take a morning drive through the back country and see the lovely outback scenes. usually i make these drives alone as the folks on the range, most of them like to sleep in, which was never my thing. and so i hit the road shortly after sunrise and came across this little hideout next to Big Lake, between the small towns of Sandfield and Mindemoya. you see that little lane that goes up there to the right? (he he… ) teenage dreams and parking schemes…

The government dock, Lake Mindemoya

and so it was a trip down memory lane on Sunday morning. i had to go by Lake Mindemoya which was our fun house, age 7 to 18. that dock was our meeting place when we were still in elementary school. we’d take our bikes and ride down there, the whole gang, doubling too, and spend the entire summer vacation at the end of that dock. it was a safe place to be!

Providence Bay, and Lake Huron

also on the drive, a trip out to Providence Bay. that was a magical scene out there and i finally smartened up about shooting some movies with the cell phone. i haven’t posted them to my youtube channel (twinravens2000) but i will very soon: the waves were rolling in every several seconds and they weren’t big wild waves, but gentle, peaceful. no one was out there at that hour and so i had the place to myself. those are my tracks along the sand. not sure who the other tracks belong to… (maybe HER!)

Providence Bay in August, at sunrise

yes folks you could easily lose yourself here, time wise and other things. if you’re new to the place, especially at this age, i wonder what it would be like. as for me, i grew up here and so this beach for me, is filled with wonderful memories that go all the way back to 1972.

Sunday afternoon in August

all weekend it seemed the sky over the range was filled with drama. the clouds swirling past and the wind over the willow tree, movement in every direction. soundtrack: crickets! also in every direction. what music they make!

The Range on Sunday afternoon, late August

by this point in time the clock was ticking! i had to get in the car and make that 8 to 12 hour drive back to the city and i sure didn’t like thinking about that! at this point in time the kids were out somewhere and the lady of the house, she too was who knows where, so it was just me and the many ghosts that haunt me. american cigarette in hand.

before i split the island i stopped by Providence Bay for one last look and wowza it was a sight to behold! the sun was shining off the big waters and behind me i saw this! what a sky! it being late in the summer i pretty much had the beach to myself at sunset. nice work!

the folks at Huron Island Time, one of the last of the galleries still standing, that displays my artwork, is there on the Providence Bay beach but do you think i could muster up and walk over there? nope! i LOVE how they called my novel: “gripping”. the folks at U of T called it: “hair raising”. i love that stuff! version 2 of the novel will soon be ready!

acrylic on canvas board, 7×9″, from autumn 2018.

and so i hit the road and made the night drive, through the wild fog between Nord Baie and Pembroke, all the way back to O Town, arrived at 8 a.m., switched into office wear and made it to the desk for 9 a.m. of course that is a lot of time to think things over, making that drive. one of things on my mind was Percy. i hope he had a good death. quick and painless. i found this painting in the photo files, it was created way back in the autumn of 2018, back when we were living on Blake Street.

somewhere in O Town

and so we’re back in with them, the wild scenes. the wild sounds. the weird smells. the fumes. the destruction of spirit and sanity. the rise of spookysville. the unknown. and a stranger in a strange land, for how long?

the good thing IS!!! Labour Day weekend will soon be here! over there on the island, for us, Labour Day weekend was truly the very END of summer. Monday night, at sunset… you can kiss good bye whatever dreams you had for the summer because once that sun sets, summer goes with it. now if you’re lucky you’ll be visited by Indian Summer, which, like i mentioned in that blog post from September 2017, the fine wines and the alien abduction, Indian Summer is one of the most magical times of the year, but who knows where we’ll be when that one comes around.

Many moons ago, Monday night, Labour Day weekend, Providence Bay

if all goes well i’ll be at this spot on Monday night next week! you see i’m going for it. i’m not staying here in the city. come 7 p.m. i’ll be pointing that blue war horse in the direction of WEST! blazing down highway 17 and turning left only at highway 6, going south. that is the plan! but we know about a man with plans… anyway. we’ll see what we can do.

my sweet Jasmine Moon, that’s her, i think it was the night before grade 6 was about to cue up. we had the entire beach to ourselves. the summer crowds had gone home as it really was Labour Day Monday at sundown. we had the good fortune of living a few miles down the road so we could stay and see it.

but this is Wednesday. we have things to do before we get to Friday night at 7.

3:45 a.m.

UE and Percy, just as UE was moving in.

arrived on the range at 3:30 a.m., expecting to see my old buddy Percy, the Black Cat, either on the outside of the sliding doors wanting in, or on the inside wanting out! arrived this morning though and nothing.

he’s been reported missing in action. and this is two weeks now.

Good Old Percy

that’s him back in the old days, at least 5 Novembers ago. that Black Cat was the first one to move into the Range, way back on May Long Weekend, 2010.

Black Cat on a Winter Night, acrylic on canvas, 10×10″

good old Percy and Spooky are the subjects of many paintings and 2 children stories i have yet to illustrate.

acrylic on canvas board, 12×16″

so it is 4:30 a.m. and he’s not around. i let him out on August 16th, Sunday morning, after the rain. i let them all out at the same time. and i didn’t see which way Percy was going. it was nothing unusual to let them all go like that.

little did i know that was the last time we were ever going to see him.