Last Day of the Year!

Somewhere in Scotland, sometime in May 2021

and so here it is, last day of the year and thank the almighty we made it! so far so good. was up at 5 this morning writing out the “to do list” for 2022! we have some new ideas on there but we also have the “never fails” on there as well.

Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island, sometime during the August heat wave, 2021

a biggie on my list is getting back home to the island: June through to Indian Summer! and when i get there with a brand new game plan, we’ll see about those favourite places.

Providence Bay, sometime in August 2021

i look forward to a brand new year and what i saw online the other day, 365 more chances!

artwork at Providence Bay in smoking hot August 2021, artist unknown: nice work! as for this artist: i have a sketch book filled with new ideas and i look forward to the opportunity to bring them to life on the canvas! 24×36 inches and larger please!

walk with care in the homeland!

walk with care while visiting other countries!

3 of the things i’m going to focus on in 2022 is body, body and body! mind and spirit are on the list but i got to thinking about that sweetgrass teaching from many moons ago, over there at the N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre! as you know, i heard it when i was a wild running in his own country, age 23, and i remember thinking: HA! Yeah right. It will never happen to me. well here we are on the door step to a new year and we be thinking about it now lad! thinking indeed!

5×7 inches, acrylic on canvas board, artist collection

and in good health and peace, we shall, if all goes well, keep going!

Somewhere in Scotland, sometime in May 2018

we have to get dressed up and go out! to see an art show, to see the full moon, to see the sunrise, to see whatever there is to see!

happy NYE and let’s hope and pray it goes alright!

miigwetch!

Christmas Eve, 6 a.m.

some folks in our family either have too much money or have just completely lost their marbles…

here we are at another xmas eve, another year nearly in the books, and i wake up at 5 a.m., walk out and see this…

oh boy…

(merry xmas eve everyone!)

Winter

instead of me trying to describe it, here it is, at the MET, December 2019:

and here she is!

wowza! like a lot of art in the history books, i’ve only seen it IN the history books. (remember my story about The Water Spirit, 1973, Norval Morrisseau, and what happened to me over at the McMichael Collection?!)

when we were at the MET, December 2019, just before the pandemic slammed into us, i spent a couple of “mask free” afternoons boo’n through the collection and had myself a few meltdowns on day one, seeing, like i said, stuff i’d only ever seen in the art history books and BOOM! there’s the actual, right in front of me!

on day 2 i came across this! (meltdown big time… )

i walked around this about 50 times! you see in the art history books they don’t give it much page space.

i mean: just WOW!

and from so long ago. i’d love to see a movie/video of the artist talking about this creation. i guess for that one i’ll need to use my imagination.

and one day, when this pandemic is behind us, we’ll have to go back to the MET, and spend more than just an hour with this one. between now and then i hope to have read the complete story.

of course one of the main reasons we were down there in December 2019 was to see the opening of Kent Monkman’s double 11×22 foot masterpieces hanging in the grand hall. here is one of them.

and so we walk into another winter, glad to see it too! i’m thinking about what a wise Anishnabe Kwe told me back in October: thunder in the fall, no winter at all.

i’m good with winter. so you have to wear snow boots for the next 90 days, no problem. and at night you may need a little extra of that full bodied and firm vin, some good company and maybe a book or two!

mine, the hard copy test re do, came in! i picked it up at the printer on Monday! the new cover looks interesting and, well. i haven’t had a chance to give it a read but if it’s the same thing i saw on my computer screen, it should be typo free. if it is good to go, we’re going to cut that one loose and see what it can do.

here is the first chapter of SUN: May 11, 1996:

season’s greetings! and we’ll see you next year!

Sun Infinity Moon Version 2

Shipped this morning and let’s hope and pray the thing comes back with no typos! Version 1 had a few and this boy was none too happy! We left the filthy grammatical errors in, ha! Me no speak english too good no how! (Say that using your best Tonto voice!) Glad to see it go as we have other writing projects in the hopper, stuff that runs alongside NBE3U.

for that back cover photo i should have plugged in a recent, like this one from yesterday, taken over by Unionville Gate and Kennedy, Markham, Ontario, Canada. even though SUN INFINITY MOON is a horror story, we don’t need to scare folks off with a scary photo of the author!

and speaking of scary, what pictures new and young artists are coming up with these days… check this out, something i saw on Instagram the other day:

wowza! that is quite a visual! zoom in!

i’m always on the look out for new art and ideas and where they come from so we’ll have to spend some time with this one.

saw this one too, the other day, also very scary as it reminded me of a few folks i have known.

and so let’s hope it goes well over at the printer and hopefully we’ll see something that looks good and is grisly good in the reading dept. i’m already pacing the floor waiting for its arrival.

Pretendians!

it’s a new word around the camp fire and i’m researching with much interest! of course there are the usual suspects at the top of the list: Joseph Boyden, Michelle Latimer, and recently, Carrie Bourassa, all 3 of them falling pretty close to the roots of the Grey Owl tree.

truth be told i was surprised to see this man’s name make the list! Dr. Thom Alcoze was a top dog at the U of S when i befuddled my way through their Native Studies Program as a spritely 22 year old, many moons ago! is it true? is Dr. Thom Alcoze a fake Indian?

here is where i saw the news:

not a lot of followers! May 2021 isn’t that long ago. btw: that is famed pretendian Michelle Latimer in the profile photo. she was the Christmas story of 2020. Joe was the Christmas story of 2016. i like how she’s wearing that big old Indian fringe jacket! if she had those sleeves rolled up you’d see those big old Indian tattoos too! just like Joe!

here is the other fake indians bit i’m following. Geoff and Jorge are writing up some pretty decent stories on the subject and i thank them both for their reporting. quite a few more followers on this site! and a few names too, that i’ve seen around the Ottawa area over the past five years. like this one:

i haven’t visited her gallery in quite a few years but the last time i was in there, it appeared she’d hit the pay dirt! the fact of the matter is, at the end of the day, she does nice work! fake indian or whatever.

as for this real indian, we’ll just have to keep our rooms warm through winter and carry on with the research, keeping our fringes crossed that we don’t make the Pretendians List! (ha ha!)

The Swanky 9th, Vol. 4

we’re on the road and folks i wasn’t thinking 14 days but here we are! and away from our paint brushes! yesterday though i had to chance to see what we were able, in that department.

the Drake Hotel, on Queen Street West, Toronto, and directly across the street is Curry’s Art Supply! now that Stevenson Paint is nothing but a long ago adventure, and with my Stevenson paint jars down close to the bottom, it’s time to start looking at a new brand. we’re going with Golden Heavy Body but i thought i’d give Tri Art, Quality Level: Professional, made in Canada, a spin. i bought a bunch of the 60 ml tubes to play around with.

after the art store amusements it was off to see Joe’s mural, freshly painted and lighting up the park on Madison Avenue, just east of Spadina and not far from the Indian Friendship Centre. nice work Joe! the mural is what, 100 feet long and 6 feet high? (Joe, he’s a famous Outlander movie star!)

ah yes… the famous Bloor Fruit Market, at the corner of Bloor and Manning Avenue, just up the street from where my old buddy Mary Elizabeth used to live. i always get a kick out of going in there. the last time i was in there the gals working in back came out front to stop and stare. i thought okay, you want to stare? stare at this! ha ha!

highway 7, town of Markham: you ever have one of those times when you’re going somewhere and a very cool tune is blasting on the radio, you get to your destination but instead of getting out you stay in the car to hear the rest of the tune play out? well that was me the other day when i heard Ravel’s Bolero on CBC Music. the DJ said it was the 90th anniversary of its debut! nice work!

Hoof Clan, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, Private Collection. while on the range earlier this month i was snooping the stash, held up now due to the pandemic and no art road shows. we’ve got a lot of smaller pieces on stand by and i found this one: cool! of course i’ve been playing with the basic green and black for quite sometime and even kept a few for my own collection:

Hoof Clan, 5×7 inches, acrylic on canvas board, Artist Collection. i like that one. and i LOVE the basic green and black.

untitled, 5×7 inches, acrylic on canvas board, Private Collection. oh my goodness there are so many very cool places you could go with the basic! we have to explore all of them! (yesterday at Curry’s i bought a diff brand of green and black and we’ll soon see what it can do!)

MacBook Pro and iPhone case! you see Michelle is always looking at different ways to display the art. i have to admit, this is another very cool idea of hers, which she certainly has many!

we’re up here on the swanky 9th, Markham, Ontario, a room with a view! quite different of course from the range up north but here we are anyway, at least for today. at some point we’re going back to O Town to work on a… well i don’t know what it is. the best way i can describe it at this point in time is: Street Art. we’re working with the same folks who got this street art happening:

on MacArthur Street, in Vanier, Ontario. i’m not sure if that piece is still on the streets but since we’re going there later today i’ll go take a looksie.

and so it is a road show! we’re away to the capital city in a few hours, suitcase in hand, art project standing by, waiting for the 2 artists to arrive. now that’s fun stuff!

On the Range in November

truth is we’re all over the map these days but tonight, November 12th, i’m on the range in the absolute pitch black of night! no light pollution out here. no noise pollution either. out every window there is blackness! and silence! wowza! a complete 180 from where we started our week!

the range on November 2nd, evening. i was out here, happy, painting, swimming in a Faust Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (why wait till later?) listening to some Ella Fitzgerald, some Helen Merrill backed by Cliff Brown and his gang, some Tony Bennett, and just going along to get along with the many ghosts that haunt me.

the next day the phone rang around noon and it was pack your gear time, we’re going to Toronto with a bunch of paintings! which we did, leaving here around 7 p.m. and arriving down there around… well who knows when but we arrived safely, some time during the night.

lunch on November 5th! those steaks were 2 inches thick! (i LOVE how when i shared the photo with a friend she said HEY! those wine glasses look pretty full! i replied we had the day off and we were taking it! and: when i crack a vin, there’s no need for that cork anymore… (ha!))

the next thing we know, Saturday, November 6th, we’re off to Ottawa to pick up our old buddy, the Great Jasmine Moon! turns out we had a trip to NYC in works! and leaving Sunday, November 7th!

we took off from Markham on Sunday morning and arrived in good order late Sunday night: we love going to New York City. that’s the great Jasmine Moon and Michelle going over the travel plan for the day, in Grand Central Station, NYC, November 8th. these girls are fun to travel with! that Jasmine Moon is sharp! she doesn’t miss anything. and we all love fun dining.

it wasn’t long after that we were back in the limo and going north! back to O Town to drop our old buddy Jazzy Moon off at 3/60 and then west to Toronto via highway 7. gosh that last hour behind the wheel was tough going…

November 11th sunrise as seen from the swanky 9th. goodness the scenes going on outside our windows seem to change every hour this past week!

on the range on Friday morning, November 12. wow. what a scene. and like i said, a complete 180 from Monday morning, down there on 36th and 5th ave, NYC.

Providence Bay on November 12, 2021, around about 1030 a.m. WOW! what a scene. i wasn’t in any hurry on my way back from the grocery store in Mindemoya so i took the scenic route and am i glad i did! i saw this, had to pull over and spend time with the view. that is the great Lake Huron out there. while i was standing there i thought about all the folks in NYC who never see the moon rise, never see the moon set, never see the sunrise or set. never see the milky way. never know the songs of the whippoorwill after midnight or a loon flying north to south at 2 a.m.

oh my goodness… what a scene. Providence Bay, looking south, to the great Lake Huron, on November 12, 2021. and the music that goes with! the wind and the waves.

if i were a smart man i would have stopped the agenda and walked out to the mouth of the bay where the big rocks are, where the old lighthouse foundation is, and spent the rest of the morning there…

but i never was too smart.

anyway. i got home here to the range, opened up the news and saw some interesting stories, on going “grey owl” type stuff, comments too, and thought hey: these are the images i need for the song: No Smoking. and so here is the video!

COOL!

have fun! and make fun ART!

WHOOSH!

we delivered them! 8 pieces! but they went out the door so quickly after having been completed that we didn’t get a chance to take some snappy pictures! (ha! snappy pictures… )

more to come as we’re warming up to a new idea and i for one want to see them up at least 24×36 inches. we’re going to O Town tomorrow to get the good canvas we like so much!

more to come!

Autumn on the Range

October-Binakwe Geezis, or Falling Leaves Moon, on the range and super ALONE! the empty nest is where we are and it looks like it’s the way its going to be. this old boy is just going to have to go along with it. it’s just me and this big old willow tree in the front yard these days. or so it seems.

the Falling Leaves Moon! on Saturday night, October 16th. beauty climes for it. on the nights of October 18th and 19th, the two last warm nights of the year maybe, i went for a moon lit drive and oh my goodness that was time well spent. on the 19th it was a glorious 18 C at 830 p.m. i was on the west shores of Big Lake, Manitoulin Island, with the moon rising: no wind. no light or noise pollution. just me, the moon light and the birch trees: wow what a scene! and like i said, maybe the last warm night of the year. i had a friend who was suppose to come along but she nixed and what scenes she missed. i hope she was happy wherever she was on that evening. looking back on it i should have stayed out later into the night.

South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island. it’s a short drive from my place to here and what a place for a lunch break!

the late John Fox, at the Whitefish River Traditional Pow wow, Dreamer’s Rock, Birch Island, Ontario, 1987. one day during the lunch break i got to snooping a shelf full of photo albums and found my stash of pow wow photographs from 87/88. they’re showing signs of wear and tear! it’s time to digitize the whole collection before they fade away.

Fancy Shawl Dancers, Wikwemikong Indian Days, Manitoulin Island, 1988. that is a contest round of dancing! photographed with a Nikon F2 and a 105 mm lens set at 5.6

Traditional Dancer, Sagamok Traditional Pow wow, 1988. i think that’s Bon, from Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve. (check out that gal in the back ground wearing the bright red dress with the black yoke… )

so yes. i have a few hundred photographs of pow wow dancers from those years, all shot with my trusty old Nikon F2 and 105 mm lens. likely on Kodak 100 ASA. time to digitize the whole collection. ah but the sweet and fun things you find yourself doing during lunch break on the range in autumn.

the east field at sunset: this is the view from the dining room table and let me tell you there is always a show out there. one day a huge wolf made its way across going south to north. another day 3 bald head eagles were playing or who knows what, over this very field and they put on an amazing show! and what music they make when playing!

the east field as seen from the dining room! like i said, there is always a show out there. in days long gone there would have been a father and his daughter out there but those days have passed.

sunset on the range: no salmon swimming up the river this year. and no pooch on the range either, keeping watch, which means there are all kinds of critters running around out there at night and coming up close to the house! hearing those night sounds in the pitch black while you’re on your own can be a tad spooky at times!

this just in: 2 of my recent paintings, both 24×36 inches on gallery canvas, now in the permanent collection at the Billy Bishop Airport, Toronto. many thanks to folks at Bay of Spirits Art Gallery, Dundas, Toronto.

Autumn in New York

the Chrysler Building as seen from 5th and 42nd, on morning No. 1, back on the streets of New York City. perfect weather for a trip to the city: toasty and warm, sun blazing. and what scenes in every direction: people of all shapes and sizes, colours and bouquet, happy and sad, horns blaring constantly, the odd mouse scampering this way and that on the side streets. for a complete and detailed playback of the scene read page 36 in SUN INFINITY MOON.

we were camped on 5th and 40th, right across the New York Public Library and what an entrance! wow. we were in a carved in stone agenda so there was no time to play with the bookies on this trip.

it’s what i’ve been saying for years! i watched the many folks and wondered if any of them have been up north of the city, into the woodlands.

ah yes, autumn in New York. i was humming the tune while walking down 5th, enjoying every scene and whiff. we didn’t have lunch at the Ritz…

me playing “cowboy” out front of St. Pat’s cathedral. folks were going in and out of there at that hour of the day.

the New York City skyline as seen from the north side of Columbus Circle. we’ve been here before but the last time the December winds were howling and it was gosh darn cold! on this day though it was a balmy 25 C. very nice.

Rumours, on 8th and… i’m not sure where we were at this point, but it was time to pull over for an afternoon splash. we didn’t have our paperwork so it had to be the patio. across the street i saw Rumours and of course wondered if Fleetwood Mac ever played a surprise acoustic gig in there. well that did it, pretty soon “Hypnotized” started playing in my mind.

waiting on the splash, on the patio, across from Rumours, on 8th. this was right around the time the kids were let loose from school and so we had front row seats to what the NYC youth of 8th Ave, just south of the Columbus Circle, look like these days. it was quite a show!

chilling with the locals in the East Village. we took a walk down that way one afternoon after all the chores had been settled. let me tell you those streets down that way were getting very spooky, the deeper we got into the village…

no time for art galleries or museums on this trip. i had grand plans about visiting the Guggenheim but no dice. while out walking the streets i was thinking about Edward Hopper and maybe walking up on the famed Nighthawks cafe! Eddie is definitely one of my personal fave artists in Art History, and one day i’m going to Chicago to see Nighthawks up close and first hand. with no art viewing i began stewing up my own Ed Hopper style images and here are a few of them:

“40th as scene from 9 floors up”, iPhone. i got to looking at this one and thought nope! Eddie would have had someone in the scene so here is attempt No. 2!

“man shackled to desk, grinding”, iPhone. i couldn’t find the right black and white contrast with the onboard tools on the cellphone and the old MacBook pro wasn’t mustering them either. so this one is a miss!

“masked Indian waiting on the 9th floor”, iPhone silvertone. this pose isn’t quite working for me on this one but we’re warming up to the idea and of course loving Edward Hopper’s work and life story even more.

and so that was our Autumn In New York! no lunch at the Ritz but time well spent in every direction! we’ll go again in the spring time, hopefully the covid thing will be in the past by that point in time and we won’t need all that paper work, everywhere we go.