Indian Summer 2021

looking to the north west, as seen from the end of our driveway, the Tuesday after Labour Day. brutal day folks if you’re an “empty nester”, like me. i’ve been down this road a time or two but this time i think it might be the real deal. the empty nest…

and so yes. i’m on my own on the range! my daddy days are over. i walked the lawns in my flashy bare feet and wondered just what in the heck is this whole trip about anyway? it was a beautiful morning, it got very hot in the afternoon!

beautiful couple of weeks into September: one day i saw a large object moving across this field. i got the binoculars and discovered it was a wolf! it was huge! times 2 bigger than our old buddy Poochie. that wolf wasn’t afraid of anything as it meandered across this open range. BIG!

of course i’ve done a lot of this: blazing down the late night highway, FM radio blasting, alone and barefoot behind the wheel. Fleetwood Mac: Hypnotized, coming through the speakers. when you work for twinravens.com you have to be mobile and available 24 hours a day, 8 days a week! and we are up to that challenge. i think this was highway 407 west bound on Wednesday night.

Saturday afternoon: September 18th, 4 p.m. it can’t be all work and no play! we’re in the mega grips of Indian Summer and it won’t be back till sometime next year, so you can bet we’re going to stop what we’re doing in the early afternoon and get out there and on the river and enjoy it while we have it!

no paintings happening between 1 and 5 p.m.

now here comes the moon! so i’ll have to chat with you later!

life and times of a famous native canadian artist…

(this was originally posted in September 2017)

ha!  i say that jokingly!  because i’m out here on the range, going on 21 days now without a note of art conversation, idea expressed verbally, or hint of a hand to hold while under the mighty Milky Way.  she’s new moon boys.  and so, alone under the almighty, with eagles roosting down by the river (what music they make first thing in the morning!) and the great wide open:  there is room to stretch the “art making arms”.  we have some good looking pieces but we’re also getting down to the bottom of the paint barrels.

so last night around 7 i stowed the gear, set a table for one, lit a candle, cracked open a Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre (2012), sparked up the youtube for a little dinner music and instead got attracted to a documentary about alien abductions.  i watched the nutty scenes, heard the kook house stories, heard the so called experts blabbering on about all this stars and moon and space stuff and…  well the truth is i didn’t know if it was the creep show scenes they were mustering in the doc (the greys were coming out of a bright white light), the gacked out music on the doc soundtrack, the fancy French Rhone, or the 21 days alone at sea, but somehow that alien abduction jazz started rattling my rusty cage!

i put my knife and fork down and looked out the jumbo windows which face the east, they were wide flipping open of course, and kind of wondered if there was anything out there.  the pooch was sitting at attention, head up, ears tuned into something going on out there to the north east.  you have to remember:  out here in the boons, there is no light pollution, no noise pollution, no neighbours, and a whole lot of SFA once the lights go out.  SFA i mean if your jiggly mind doesn’t start playing tricks.

of course we have this guy, Roger, in the house.  Shell brought him in from Ottawa and so here he is, in the house, staring at yours truly, Travis Walton wannabe/Little Boy Blue, alone at his dining table…

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well 21 day days alone…  (see what i mean?), nights too, might cause a fuss when you’re sailing across the universe.  slip that stupid documentary with the spook house scenes in there and you’re cooking with gas.  so i booted up my Facebook and wrote a farewell message to the world, going on about this alien abduction thing and told them i was tired of hiding behind the couch with my bottle of french vin and was going to scurry off to bed, like Yoda in his death scene.

i got up to my room with a view and saw this guy staring at me!!!

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“An Ojibwe in Quebec:  A Self Portrait on June 14th”, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches.  Morgan H. Collection.  (We’re holding onto it for now.)

so by this point in time i’m about ready to soil my drawers.  i thought a little night music might help ease the creeps and me into la la land so i hit the random button on the remote and on came this:

(note the house on the open range and the one tree…  )(looking kind of like a place we sort of know…  )

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my crib, on the open range…

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sunrise on the range, Sept. 21.  the last full day of summer…

and so!  i made it through the night.  i did NOT get abducted by aliens, at least not that i can remember, Roger is still over there gawking at me, and “A Self Portrait on June 14th” is still in the collection here, on hold.  i thought i’d jump in the car and take a little ride into the city and see the madness first hand, up close, where i could catch a whiff, and maybe dust off the cobwebs that will surely develop after 21 days alone at sea, but a cooler and calmer mind at the other end of a long distance phone call this morning put those plans on ice.

and so it is back to the brushes, here, deep in Indian Summer, safe and sound back on earth.

(kind of peculiar how things work themselves out…  we’re in it now:  the empty nest…  and i’m back where i started: on the range, alone, in sweet and beautiful Indian Summer.  outside there is a blaze of sun, it’s Sept. 17th, 2021, 25 C at 4 p.m., Friday night, no kids in the house.  it’s just me and Roger.  even the pooch is gone.  cats are all gone.  mice are moving in.  but in this paradise, river running slow, lawn mowed to golf green, eagles singing down by the river, blank canvasses on the table, acrylic paint at the ready, brushes too, and a sky filled with stars in a few short hours, an artist can get along.  we’re in a room with a view and…   i must tell you:  the other day, in the afternoon, while out here alone i saw something big moving across the east field.  it was bigger than a coyote and i wondered about someone’s pooch out on the prowl, but this thing was bigger than a pooch!  i grabbed the binoculars and zoomed in to see it HAD to be a wolf.  if i had to guess, about 250 yards away, meandering across the field going south to north, and BIG!  so i yelled at it and waved but it didn’t acknowledge me, unlike the eagles.  that big wolf just kept going, in no hurry, north across the east field, over the fence and into the almighty out back.  it’s only the second time i’ve seen a wolf.  i asked the locals up at the general store if there had been any word about any wolves running and she said this place is full of wolves.  yikes.  so back in Sept. 2017 when poochie was sitting here looking out to the night, everything super quiet, pitch black, the two of us on our own, me with my splashy Paul Jaboulet and a fancy glass and poochie with her ears up and tuned into something moving out there in the darkness, just to the north east of us, maybe?

anyway.  we don’t have any splashy Paul Jaboulet today nor do we have poochie, or the cats, or the kids or anything else.  what we have is the great wide open and some beautiful climes and the night…  well we’ll just see about that Orion up there at some point in time.  and Nokomis too, maybe watch her set.  to the tune of some Chet Baker and whatever pilsners these fine folks can deliver, up there at the local.  if it IS Indian Summer, bring it on.  i’d be saying:  Nice to see you old friend.)

The Mighty Skies over Tehkummah

after the 13 days in quarantine i hit the road for a few days but for the most part i’ve been out here on the range and mostly alone. but out here you’re never truly alone. here are the summer skies of late June.

mid afternoon in late June: i had grand ideas about a new batch of paintings but what ended up happening was a lot of river time and sky watching, cloud watching, water watching.

a summer evening on the range in late June: there have been no road shows or art outings through this summer and the local farmer’s markets that i enjoyed have mostly been closed down. with no pre show preparations and packing it left the evenings open for star gazing and walking in the moon shadows.

an evening in late June: of course i was supposed to be working on the last of the edits and rewrites for SUN INFINITY MOON. i wanted the reprint ready to go for July 1st but… no dice.

sunrise in early July: one morning i was out there enjoying the scenes and remembering the wild morning scenes of April through to early June! what changes in a few short days.

sunset in early July: a glass or two of the good stuff from Spain and a little tobacco, a decent chair and all is well when you’re out there on your own.

one morning in early July: the pooch had the right idea! the river is running unusually high this year which means you have to watch your step! i mean us humans, the pooch didn’t seem to have any troubles with it.

sunrise in mid July: one night, around 2 a.m. i heard voices! i got up and looked out all windows, north, east, south and west, and didn’t see anyone out there. nothing but fireflies dancing. i’ll admit i was a bit spooked!

good morning over the river on the range! i made sure i took a good long look at this every morning. same with the sunrise, we’ve seen what? 80 so far, since the beginning of June?

another sunrise on the range in mid July: perfect! exactly what i asked for way back on April 21st!

big peace on the green and blue up here but down south someone is getting walloped! that is a thunder storm out there! it was a wonderful sound, hearing that big booming in the distance.

one afternoon in mid August we all checked our phones for the local weather forecast and saw storm warnings for the Manitoulin Island! the plan was to lie around in the sun at the river but with a free show planned, like a thunder storm, well that we all had to see. here it is rolling up on us from the south west in the early afternoon.

i ran off down to the river to watch the show and it really was spectacular! the booming in the distance rolling up on us was quite spooky as the loudness of it, well. we hadn’t heard anything like that in ages.

it was quite a show! we’ve seen a few roll over us through the years but nothing like this. normally we wait until 5 p.m. but for this we rolled out the bar cart at 1 p.m.

i’ve never seen anything like this! (truth is i was worried a tornado was rolling up on us as we saw the clouds swirling in circles!)

what a show! and there were 2 of them! the afternoon matinee and the 7 p.m. main! this is the 7 p.m. show.

never seen anything like it! the 7 p.m. show!

it was August 11th. 2 storms! lots of thunder! big winds. a small amount of rain. our visitors loved it!

we were watching the show to the west and i went around for a quick peek at the south and saw this!

one of our visitors is a famous Canadian photographer. it was fun watching him go to work photographing the sky.

with all of the wild skies, the wild winds, you might think there’d be a chill in the air but gosh it was down right hot out there.

and just like that it was over. double rainbow to finish it off.

and so that was the show on August 11th! wow! a beautiful summer storm, a great sound and light show.

a short time later we were hit with a heat warning! on this august morning, the 19th, it was already up around 25 C at just after sunrise!

another sunrise in August, possibly just the other day. we’ve seen pretty much all of them since June 11th. and tonight we have the full moon! i thank my lucky stars that i’ve had the opportunity to be out here through the summer, to have visitors with us, and of course to see the many glorious things mother nature has for us.

through all of this: not one painting has rolled out of the twinravens art school! i guess that will happen when the last of our summer visitors have gone home and Labour Day Monday has come and gone.

more to come!

New Art Cards from Mark Seabrook!

This just in: my first batch of art cards featuring some of my favourite paintings! The cards are blank on the inside, are 5×7 inches, and comes with a coloured envelope and a clear plastic wrap! Awesome! This is the first batch, we have another bundle coming in soon featuring more of my fave paintings from over the years.

If you want to place your order directly, send me an email!

And so here we are into another summer! Miigwetch. My old twinravens summer mission statement from that ultra and super wild summer of 1995 still stands! And stands tall! So here it is again for good measure, a cool 26 years later! Live, love and learn!

Day Filthy 13 in Quarantine

got home to the range on June 10th, woke up the 12th and saw this! wowza! everything i’d imagined! nothing but bird song and the river. complete peace and victory too!

another morning on the range, another fab sunrise. i’m still on Scotland time and so am up around 4 a.m. my dad always used to say: if you’re awake, say thanks, and start your day.

looking to the north and the back part of the open range. out there it is wild! the horses are out there but beyond them, who knows.

another sunrise on the range: i’ll be honest! it’s very weird out here alone like this. almost feels like being on the famed “desert island”. for LP’s i have: Al Stewart Year of the Cat, Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Steve Miller Band Greatest Hits, Wings Venus and Mars, Aerosmith Toys in the Attic, Zeppelin Physical Graffiti, T Rex The Slider and Bob Seger Night Moves. that’s it!

we’re out here waiting for our next gig but thank goodness we have some reinforcements moving up. there should be a gang arriving on Tuesday of next week. i hope so! because if i stay out here any longer, on my own, i’ll end up like those 2 guys in the movie: The Lighthouse…

(oh boy… )

sunrise this morning, on day Filthy 13, Friday, June 18th. she’s a doozie. and thank goodness for the splash of rain! i was up around 3 a.m. and saw the lightning flashing to the south, no thunder! i took a stroll on the front lawns and the fireflies… wow. what scenes they create. thank goodness they don’t fly in pairs… if you get my drift.

no art! my painting supplies are still in O Town. i’ll be going there next week to get them. and my guitar!

Back in Canada

but we’re not home! right now i’m in the hotel lock up going on 3 days. home is a short 5 or 6 hours up the highway when they let us out. i’ve got a little blue car waiting for me and up there where i come from, is a river!

the grand and glorious sunsets at the town of Ayr! we certainly saw some beauties and thank goodness this time around we shot some video! most of them i posted to my youtube channel yesterday. we left the town of Ayr at 2 a.m. June 6th. hustled up to the Glasgow airport for 6 a.m. went to Schiphol for 9 a.m. and away to Canada, 7 hours, Schiphol to Toronto. it was a great day for flying and KLM took very good care of us.

the sunrise at Ayr was also amazing. and the swans… what lovely and elegant creatures. i loved watching them swim past. i could definitely hear The Swan (Saint-Saens) playing in my mind as i watched them work their way past me.

one last look at the scenes around the town of Ayr at sunrise-they really gave me and Joe the clubhouse seats in this town! the free show was on going, looking out those windows.

one last look at the studio! that last day for the few of us they had come in started at 650 a.m. and ended at 1045 p.m.! when i walked out of there for the last time i was thinking i sure am glad they don’t need us on Friday!

flying into Schiphol on KLM. beautiful morning for a flight and we were all glad to be on it! this covid bizz makes getting around from place to place a bit of a hassle… still worth it though! the grand scenes in every direction over 40 plus days: wowza! what an adventure!

one last look at Scotland, down there somewhere is the town of Glasgow. it was another beauty flight, NOT packed in like sardines but this time given the run of the place! and those super gorgeous KLM stewardesses certainly took great care of us!

right back where we started: at Pearson International, Sunday afternoon, June 6th. goodness by the time we got off the plane, through customs, and over to the Sheraton for lock up, this boy was TRASHED! all used up. so i was happy to hit the bunk and try and sleep it off.

now if they asked me to go again: you bet i’d be on board with that trip! but the next trip for me is north! to the great Manitoulin Island! a few days on the range is going to be exactly what the doctor ordered!

the mighty skies in Scotland

we’re on the beach in the town of Ayr, on light duty as the boss has cut us some slack. truth is the boss has let us go and so we’re free range until Sunday when we get our bug out papers. and so this boy has been riding the rails! went down to the town of Stranraer the other day, beauty! then up to the town of Helensburgh, that was yesterday, also very beauty! but today we’re chilling at the ocean view crib and i just saw four large swans swimming past. wow. the sky is blue but the Firth of Clyde is a deeper blue.

the photo above, that was last night, June 1st. wowza.

on the Helensburgh Pier, June 1. what a scene! tide was out and that ocean air was a bit… hmmm. how shall we say it? well let’s just say there was no shortage of critters left high and dry while those ocean waters receded. nothing a 2 o’clock tipple couldn’t take care of! (ha!)

our last evening in Stirling: the skies as seen from that walk way across the tracks. that town had it all in the sky department! and my little Scottish gal pal… she didn’t come by to send me on my way the next morning… (blues song goes in here.)

the beach at Ayr, on May 25th. the bosses moved us out of Stirling and put us up in a swanky crib just 2 minutes up from the beach. that crib was bells on wheels but one of the boys came down with something on May 26th and the next thing you know: the covid alarm was ringing and me and joe were moved out on the 27th! of course it was all a false alarm.

that night, May 26th, i was working up a hunger but we were late getting back from the office and all the stores were closed! you see i had my mind made up about doing some home cooking at the swanky new crib. anyway, i found myself at the Ayr India diner and this was the view outside the window where i was parked. holy wowza!

swans on the Firth of Clyde: lovely looking birds and there are 14 of them here. what elegance!

some of the office troop enjoying the sunset as seen from the Ayr Pier on May 29th. you see by this point in time that news story came in about the 215 killed in action at the Kamloops Indian Residential School and quite a few of us older guys, well we’ve lived through a few things and some of us are up close to what happened. i never went to I.R.S. but what went through something different, and very costly as half the boys are dead and the other half missing in action.

what happened is on Monday, May 31, the top bosses allowed us natives to have a ceremony down by the river, a little something to honour those KIA. one of the lads, Micmac, led the ceremony with a brief speech to those who weren’t in the know about Canada and the IRS, a prayer in his language, a moment of silence, an honour song in the Anishnabe language, and then placing of tobacco, into the river. all of which meant something to me as father with 2 daughters. what struck me the most though, was when the honour song was over and we were all turned at the same time, all of us natives, in 200 years ago era outfits, to walk toward the river to place the tobacco. the local folks up on the hill observed this and i’m not sure what reaction they were having, seeing this. but as an anishnabe person, watching the scene, it rattled me down to the core.

Dunbar, Scotland

it’s on the east coast and the mighty North Sea is right there. i visited the town on Monday, May 17th but i just had to go back for another look yesterday, Saturday, May 22nd.

last Monday was glorious but on Saturday the wind was up and these enormous waves were crashing in! now i’m from Manitoulin Island and we have the great Lake Huron rolling up on our shores but it’s nothing like the North Sea!

these pictures don’t capture the size of the scene or the sound that goes with it. those 2 waves rolling in must be 10 feet high!

Joe was there and wanted me to snap a photo of him with the wilds going on behind him and one of those big ones came rolling in, hit the rocks and the water flew up in the air about 50 feet! the water came crashing down on Joe and nearly swept him out to sea! (i shot a video of it and i hope he shares it!)

of course i got a laugh out of that but it was about an hour later when i got a little too close to the edge and BOOM! soaked!

ah yes, the town of Dunbar and the North Sea, awesome place to spend a Saturday afternoon! back home on Manitoulin Island it was around 33 C on this day, over here in Dunbar it was maybe 13 C!

i’m not sure how high that sea wall is, 50 feet? but you can see the water that slammed up against it is splashing up over the wall. wowza! what a show. and well worth the trip back to Dunbar. after Joe got himself soaked he started out for town for a look around. i’d already done the look around on Monday so i stayed out there on the rocks with the wind and the waves! i don’t get to see a show like that out where the lighthouse used to be at Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island!

i did shoot a half hour’s worth of videos but the internet here is slow! i’ll wait until i get back home to load the video and hopefully you’ll see just how wild and crazy this awesome show really was!

i wonder what it must be like out there when it’s really storming!

Tourist Action: Scotland (2)

we’re 29 days on the road! 11 of which were spent in that dreaded quarantine but we’ll forget about that and instead remember the beauty scenes in every direction over here!

in Dunfermline on Saturday, May 15th: there is some major old time history in this town! you’ll have to boot up the town name for all the details as there are many!

the Stirling Bridge on May 16th. this 15th century beauty is just down stream from where the wooden bridge used to be.

the skies over Stirling always seem to be filled with such drama! this is the view looking north, from the foot bridge that goes over the tracks at the Stirling train station. the hotel we’re staying at is to the right of the frame.

the east coast at the town of Dunbar, on May 17th. that’s the North Sea out there! it moves quite differently than say the water rolling in at Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island! huge amounts of power down there! spooky to this anishnabe! those cliffs are filled with sea bird nests and so you can imagine what music they make. and that fresh ocean air is quite different. yes. this place needs to be seen again. Dunbar is just past Edinburgh and a measly 17 local bucks to get there from Stirling. one of the locals said they call the place: Sunny Dunny, for the micro climate they have there, and yes it was a beautiful day. and warm for a change! no need for 2 hoodies!

Church of Scotland, town of Dunbar, lawn bowling club out front, North Sea out back.

Church of Scotland, looking north. to the right and about a 15 minute walk north is that wild and rugged coast line. i had to stop at the cemetery and see a few names, didn’t find the two i was looking for!

the Volunteer Arms, an awesome club just up from the harbour and those wild cliffs. and so this artist and artsy friend of mine used a word in a recent email: tipple. i’d not heard the word spoken until i came upon this patio with a few of the very friendly locals up there enjoying an afternoon splash. they saw me approaching, my CANADA hoodie advertising, and one of them shouted down: it be time for a tipple lad? we got to chatting over a Tennent’s er two and i soon learned they had relatives in Grande Prairie. they asked how long would it take to drive from my home to Grande Prairie and I said about week, if you pulled over for the night. that one caused a gasp from everyone about the place. i told them you might as well go all the way to Alaska if you’re up that far. (we’ve driven it a couple of times!)

the Scottish country side flashing past the windows on the way from Dunbar back to Edinburgh on the afternoon of May 17th. lovely scenes out that way and i’ll be sure to go back before we leave for home.

railroad bridge over the river Carron, town of Larbert, May 18th. i’ve been rolling across that bridge going to and from, saw that trail as we rolled past and got to thinking: i’d like to see that up close. it was a pretty dreamy little scene! bird song in every direction!

Larbert Old Church, that’s what they call the place. some of those stones had dates on them going back to 1790! still looking for those 2 names!

back in Stirling, on the walk way over the rail yard, those skies of Stirling! always filled with wild and dramatic clouds!

more to come but i think the boss wants us to report in tomorrow, so our tourist days might be behind us for a little while.

Tourist Action: Scotland

i was hoping to document all of the wonderful scenes along the way, as they happened, but here we are more than a week into freedom and already, 25 days on the road!

since May 5th it all starts right here: Stirling Train Station. our hotel is just to the left of the frame and that walk way is how we get to town, about a 15 minute walk.

the Crow Tavern! ha! not sure where this is but i’m riding the rails on my way to the town of Ayr, saw that and thought hey! i should stop in there for an afternoon splash.

swanky crib in the town of Ayr. i’m on my way from the train station to the beach! sunny and beautiful but gosh darn cool out there! i’m wearing two hoodies and a toque!

there she is: the beach at the town of Ayr, and out there, the Firth of Clyde. just 20 bucks local to ride that train from the town of Stirling to Ayr, round trip, and taking about an hour one way with a stop in Glasgow to switch trains.

it was Pitlochry on Thursday, town of Ayr on Friday. great way to spend an afternoon!

town of Lenzie on Monday. saw this out the window on the way back from Ayr and thought yes, i have to get a closer look. just 14 bucks local cash for the there and back from Stirling. not a pub anywhere to be found!

Garngaber Ave, town of Lenzie, looking west. wowza! there are some mighty fine and OLD properties along this stretch of road. check out my youtube channel for a little movie of this place. super swanky cribs on either side of the road and lush!

Scottish country side blazing past the windows, i’m on my way back to Stirling.

oh my goodness lad stay just one hour when you visit the pub and chat up the locals! holy smokes… the No. 2 Baker Street pub is in Stirling, on the way from the train station to the hotel and i thought i would pull over and have an afternoon splash but once those old timers get onto you, they want to hear about it. and they want to hear that wild accent of mine! (me with an accent, ha!) and they like to buy you a drink. oh boy…

the dreamy and big skies of Scotland as seen from the Beefeater diner and bar, in Stirling. the way it is these days is you can go in for a meal but you can’t have a drink with it. if you want a splash you have to sit outside on the patio which at times, can be mighty cool! on this evening though it wasn’t bad. things are supposed to turn around on Monday, we can go into the pub for a splash instead of doing that patio thing.

back in Glasgow on Thursday, George Square. the covid cops are everywhere in this town! rode in for just 8 bucks local cash, return. thought i would enjoy some lunch but you need the mod technology for the trace to gain entry to the diners and pubs and… this old boy doesn’t have the know how with the mod tech so no lunch in Glasgow for this boy!

that kooky scene outside the Gallery of Modern Art, on Queen Street. the Duke of Wellington just can’t seem to get rid of that hat! it was on there in June 2018 and here we are again, May 2021, the dude is still sporting it!

went in for a snoop and saw a 1969 Andy Warhol soup can print! awesome!

the mega crib just outside the Waverley train station, town of Edinburgh, Friday afternoon. i just had to go back and see the Royal Mile and the castle up on the hill. the Royal Mile was a ghost town on Friday at 2 p.m. myself and a few other tourists and that’s it! they’re way more relaxed in Edinburgh compared to Glasgow when it comes to the covid cops, and for the tourist, that’s a good thing! we’re here to enjoy.

i have some fun videos of these trips and i’ll post them to my youtube channel as soon as we have better internet! took about 3 hours to upload that Pitlochry video…

more travel scenes to come! it is Saturday, day is just starting, so we’ll see what fun there is to be had.