23 hours on the road


what day is this?  March 25th, 149 a.m.  ah yes.  so really.  it’s only been 24 hours.  i’m here in snow covered Ottawa, shaking off the drive blues.  and by drive blues i mean: 23 hours on the road!

i started the business day on the 24th at 1 a.m.  i walked out to my waiting limo down there in Markham, it was mild for 1 a.m. in late March, threw my gear in the back seat and took off.  no radio as i had to wiggle my way out of the city and onto the big highway, with a few stops along the way.  no need to pause great music for something silly yes?

the big gig that is Markham and surrounding suburbia, by the thousands, many house lights off, a few house lights on, was quiet.  highway 7 was empty.  i rolled onto the northbound 400 and soon had the red dragon (ha!) up to a tasty and comfortable cruising speed of 150 km/h, at which point i turned on the late night radio.

i kid you not!  this is what came over the airwaves while i was cruising up the 4 lane highway, alone, the dotted lines flying past!  truth is a lot of tunes came over the airwaves because it is all of 550 kms from Markham to the Range via the Poison City, and a snow storm, but this is the one that started us off.

great times in Wikwemikong.  our 10 o’clock went well.  back on the road at 1215 p.m.

i had a request from one of the ladies in the outfit for some “Manitoulin Island honey”, and i had a hankering for some hemp oil out of Manitoba so i stopped by the Island Jar on my way out.


she’s safely delivered this far.  here is what happened at the end of my journey:  like i said, Ottawa is a snowscape.   when you plug another 660 km drive on top of the first 550, hey man…  that’s a drive.  needless to say i was all used up when i was rolling down the 417 in Ottawa, after midnight, wondering what exit i was to take.  the mind will play tricks on you after you’ve seen that much scenery on your own, me thinks.

i got to Island Park hassle free, parked the car and thought about the gear i had stowed.  it can wait till tomorrow is what i was thinking so i grabbed the essentials:  the beer, my computer, the honey, the hemp oil and the phone.  that’s a heavy load after 1200 kms behind the wheel.  i got in the house no probs, was on my into the kitchen with the stuff when that 1 litre glass jar of f’n honey some how came loose and went sailing straight for the oak floor boards…

thank gods my big toe was in the way when it landed…  that was cushion enough, or slowed it enough, or who knows what enough, that when that big heavy jar of honey did hit the floor boards, it just rolled around for a few seconds and came to a stop.

let me tell you that is some way to end the business day…

Woodland Nights, 2 Crows

this morning we’re in the town of Markham, Ontario, just north of the good city of Toronto.  a beauty morning indeed, in the company of some wise folks: i’m here for some classic traditional teachings.  tomorrow morning at this time, we’ll be on the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Manitoulin Island, for another round of heavy duty, traditional teachings.  and on Saturday morning we’ll be in Ottawa visiting one of those great teachers and instructors whose family roots go all the way back to the Sagamok Indian Reserve!  so.  it’s going to be a book of knowledge come Sunday morning when we can stretch our legs somewhere, in the sunshine i hope, and ponder the almighty.


roses at sunrise:  beyond the fields of gold.  we had to give the song, You’ll Never Walk Alone, as read by Gerry and The Pacemakers, a listen this morning and i for one stood at the windows looking east.


“Woodland Nights:  2 Crows” (detail), 2008, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches, private collection.  (On permanent display here at the residence in Markham!)

Kind of peculiar how things work out for this old bird: traveling at night…

another weekend on the road!

oh my goodness the wild things a fella can see and do in a few short days…


that is home sweet home for this bad boy!  sunrise on the Manitou, Friday, ending of March Break, spring is in the air.  whew.  we’re down to seeing this a few times a season and i’m not sure how happy i am about that.  but a deal is a deal!


outside Lee’s Palace, Sunday morning, 11 a.m.  Jazzy Moon had VIP tickets to a gig and so there we were on Bloor Street, Toronto.  it’s been many a moon since i found myself standing in line to get into this joint!  Sunday morning though it wasn’t me waiting to get in.  the ladies were booked and i was foot loose and fancy free to hit the streets and see some wild art!


someone’s rock and roll machine!  i got to thinking, hey that ride has been there for quite some time.  abandoned?  or a classic rust bucket for those late morning rides down Bloor to Spadina?  either way, nice work.  i just hope the owner isn’t a skeleton in a nearby apartment, sitting on a couch, the tv still on…


waiting at noon…  on Harbord Street.  CTS in the background.


art and artists, they’re everywhere in the city!  (i wonder if those were blue suede shoes…)


walking out front of the Central Technical School.  this old war horse is over a hundred years old!


ah yes…  art and artists everywhere.  this wild scene is on Bagpipe Lane.


that “life’s purpose” bit really got in my grill!  especially with all the kooky goings on in my world over the past several days, weeks, months and years.


my old art instructor said to me:  you can’t have too much art in one day!  (this was back when i was a sprightly 21 and sorry to report, those words of his are some of the few things i brought with me from art school!!!)  so i walked myself out of the back ally and onto the crowded city street where it did indeed strike me:  yes…  art and artists everywhere, this ojibwe boy possibly one of them.

we found ourselves, me and Jazzy Moon, rolling out of the city at 3 a.m., east bound on the 401, going back to the capital city, “La La Land Soundtrack” playing, weird scenes swirling in my mind, not sure what might have been swirling in hers.  we made it though, March Break is behind us for another year.

a weekend on the road

Took in the Georgian College Pow wow yesterday, Barrie, Ontario, and let me tell you they have a good thing going!  The house was full of dancers, vendors, and an active photography department, snapping photos throughout, including upstairs in the studio!

pow wow 30009 1_33-02 PM

That is one half of the late, great N.R.  After all these years, when you run into one of your long lost brothers it can really be the uplift in what seems to be a long winter day.  Here is a little sample of the work me and this guy did together, all those years ago.


Venus Envy, Filthy Dirty Art Show

Next stop:  Venus Envy on Bank Street, downtown Ottawa.  The ever popular Filthy Dirty Art Show opens on Saturday night, March 4th.  Lets go down memory lane…


“untitled”, 5×7 inch photograph

Sunny boy, indio style was one of the photographs we had on display at the last show.  We should have Kent Monkman’d this one up a bit, might have gotten further with it!


“untitled”, 5×7 inch photograph

High Heels and Big Hopes, another of the photographs we had on display.

Well I liked the photographs!  (We brought all 3 of them home from that one…  )

I had a solo show at VE, back in June 2014, and here are two of the main pieces:


MIA, 30×30 inches on canvas

Missing In Action, 2014, mixed media on canvas, 30×30 inches, private collection.  Concerning the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and before the MMIW Inquiry.


KIA, 30×30 inches on canvas

Panel 2:  Killed In Action, 2014, mixed media on canvas, 30×30 inches, OCSB collection.  Heavy duty…

But we shall return on March 4th with some new paintings, switching gears from the heavy to the light.  I hope to see you there!

3 Samples of my work


Wolf Scenes

Acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches. 2014.  (Sketch for larger piece.)


“Water Spirit, in respect of Norval M.”, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches, private collection.


“twinravens landscape 2016 series”, 2016, acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches.

Ah why not?  Here are a few more samples of recent work:


Spirit Horse, 2015, 11×14 inches, acrylic on canvas board, private collection.

Moose Nahmiwan

Moose Nahmiwan 2014,, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches, private collection. Painted on the Range in March 2015

Bear Clan with White Raven

“Bear Clan”, 2011, acrylic on canvas board, 14×18 inches,  collection of the artist.


Before the Blue Moon, 6 of 9

“twinravens landscape 2015 series”, 2015, acrylic on canvas board, 11×14 inches, private collection.

There it is!  I hope you enjoy!

Joseph Boyden meets Grey Owl

All the kooky Joseph Boyden news on the front pages of the CBC this month got me fired up about going in a different direction paint wise.  Instead of fussing with the Ojibwe Woodland style I was hoping to muster up what they taught us in year two at art school.


“Joseph Boyden Meets Grey Owl, Sketch No. 1”, 8×11 inches, Bic pen on paper.

But there’s just one thing!  That business in art school calls up a skill which, I sadly must report, for me, has gone rusty.  Very rusty…  In Sketch No. 1, I’m not so sure we have Joe captured.


“Joseph Boyden Meets Grey Owl, Sketch No. 2”, 8×11 inches, Bic pen on paper.

Pen on paper is one thing, paint on canvas is completely another in my camp.  Gosh!  If I can’t draw the lad there is no way I’m going to be able to paint him!  And of course, also very sad, I’ve gotten away from something as basic as sketching, pen on paper.


Photocopy page layout for the “twinravens art journal”.  We’re talking basic, ball point pen on paper, fooling around while waiting for paint to dry, kind of drawing.  Nothing serious.  Tossing around ideas.  The drawing of the gal is a quick fifteen minutes and going way back to mighty 1996.


Photocopy of page layout for the “twinravens art journal”.  So the idea in basic is to “play”.  Art play.  Nothing more.  The drawing of the guy with the raven war paint, from thundering Feb. 1995,( Whew what a time that was!!!) was suppose to be a painting but I couldn’t translate it over to paint…  Lame.

I look at my Joe Boyden sketches knowing full well that isn’t him and I ask myself:  Chiefy, when did you stray?  How far have you been off the rails in the pen on paper drawing department?  And will you ever settle down long enough to create the things you can see clearly, in the mind?  You see, that 24×36 inch canvas I was looking at on Inauguration Day has been started and I was hoping to maybe have it finished while the whole Joe Boyden thing is still in the hopper.  Well that isn’t happening until I learn how to paint, all over, again!

Oh my goodness this art business at times…