Archive for November, 2014

a piece of the new work!

Hi there! It’s Thursday morning on the windswept range, very cool, snow covered, river running at 100%. The chickadees and bluejays are making a big deal out of the new bird feeders, it’s nice to see them, right there outside the kitchen window.

I wanted to show you something I’ve been working on: It’s a piece of a 30×30 inch gallery canvas inspired by the many sketches I’ve been making over the past 6 months. Inspired too, by some famous artists in art history! Here is a small corner of a much larger work:

New work on 30x30 inch canvas!

New work on 30×30 inch canvas!

It’s still on the rack, drying. I hope to have it finished today but we’ll see what happens in the drying dept.

Fun stuff!

Mask Making on the Range!

Anytime you put a room full of pre teens in front of a stack of over a hundred colourful markers, glitter paint and a neutral face mask for each, plus 1 hour, you’re going to get some awesome results.

Mask making on the range!

Mask making on the range!

One or two of the participants may have done this art making exercise with us before but one thing is for certain: you put on the right music (their music), have some healthy snacks at the ready, and let them run with the art supplies, you’ll see magic.

Nice work!

Nice work!

Nice work!

Nice work!

Nice work!

Nice work!

Now we as art facilitators know this works wonders. It works wonders and magical things can happen. It doesn’t take much time (1 hr), it isn’t messy and it works for all ages. Usually a short theatrical presentation follows: introducing the mask. If you have one, keep your movie camera ready.

Perfect every time!

Perfect every time!

We can come to you! Any age group, any size, anywhere. School groups, after school groups, staff PD, volunteer appreciation, conferences, any get together, we are available. To book, contact me at twinravens@gmail.com

Night on the Range

Spent a few minutes after the fun had been done, gave Bob Dylan’s “I and I” as heard on Real Live (1985) a listen, and looked up at the mega stars, Australian Shiraz in hand, and pondered the many sunrises…

Sunrise on the Range

Sunrise on the Range

Looked at the work from today: small stuff but fun, with room for adventure once we have one of those windy days on the bridge, a few cans of big paint, a few butter knives, and some sun tanned arms.

Another sunrise on the Range

Another sunrise on the Range

Thought about my walk around in my new rubber boots, tied tight as the snow is up around my knees, pointed my camera in a hundred directions and never snapped a one of them.

Another sunrise on the Range.

Another sunrise on the Range.

It’s Thursday night on the open range. I can hear the river and the wind and I can feel November in the corner of my rooms.

Sunrise on the Range.

Sunrise on the Range.

We shall soon see what tomorrow has for us. I’ll dream too, of a time for this…

Thanksgiving at the River

Thanksgiving at the River

First Nations Artist Breaks Neck in Studio…

What a headline that would be! Thank goodness it isn’t a headline from my camp. Mind you yesterday while bringing this painting to the drying rack:

Travel scene on 11x14 inch board

Travel scene on 11×14 inch board

I missed seeing that the cat, good old Blackie, had ralphed his guts out on the steps. I of course came along admiring this new sketch, and stepped right in that hideous mess with my jungle boots and nearly went flying down the stairs, head over heels, clinging to that soaking wet sketch. The cat is fine and so is the artist. The painting too, made it through the night.

So this wild colour: Quinacridone Violet, from Stevensons in Scarborough, Ontario, has been sitting in my paint drawer for ages. I bought it many moons ago and haven’t touched the stuff. A couple of weeks ago I cracked it open and wondered what it might look like mixed with some Titanium White.

Here are the results:

Sketch on canvas, 11x14 inches.

Sketch on canvas, 11×14 inches.

Like I said: sketching can be a wondrous thing, dipping one’s toes in a very big ocean! (We could use a little ocean time today, down there on the beach near Papeete! Gosh its breezy out here on the open range. And that’s a November breeze indeed!)

a trip down memory lane

Here is a golden oldie! Acrylic on canvas, likely 30×48 inches, c. April 1987.

Mad man Art School days

Mad man Art School days

I kept a journal right through all 3 years of those wild days. Now truth be told you couldn’t get into a lot of trouble as it was Owen Sound, Ontario. A very small school, small classes, in a small town. We started out with 30 plus classmates and at the end of it there were just 7 of us left. It was a good time, like I said, tough to get into any trouble. The folks at the school were good to us and set us up in special studio spaces where we could get dirty.

Third year is when I got busy with the painting. At first I was doing landscapes featuring old Gothic Cottage style houses on the wind swept open ranges of Tehkummah (hmmm… ). Some were attempts at capturing the scene, others were crazy sci fi pictures with giant ravens flying “into the light”, behind the lone house. Raymond, if you’re out there, I know you have a 24×24 of said piece, snap a photo of it and email it over, I’d like to see it again.

One day in January, 1987, I decided to trade in my paint brushes and go abstract. If you check the website you’ll see a red one with a yellow smear: tasty… very tasty. I liked doing that kind of work. The instructors liked it. I remember going into one of the studios and saying to the boys, “Dudes! I have a new one to show you.” They actually dropped their stuff and went running to see it. (When I got it home to Mindemoya one of my idiot and so called friend’s called it psychotic and said I was insane. Good lord I felt like Charlton Heston in the 68 version of Planet of the Apes.)(Needless to say I’ve not sat down and visited with that art critic in over 25 plus years.)

April 1987 is when it all came grinding to a halt: my motel year Sept. 1986 to April 1987, my rock and roll band “The Fuzzy Lines”, the big canvasses, the close knit artist group: whoosh! Right out the window when my time with the program came to an end. I went on to university right after and didn’t touch a brush for 2 years. Or a guitar…

Fun times in March/April 1987

Fun times in March/April 1987

Like I said, I did keep a journal through the whole thing. Those pages are locked up and stored in a cool and dry place. Today we’re working with memory. Looking back, yes it was a glorious time for making art, dabbling, even though in reality it was nothing more than dipping one’s toes into an ocean.

Of course it wasn’t all roses. I must have been one hellish personality as I’ve emailed all my instructors and any classmates I could find online, emailed them within the last 5 or so years and not a one of them will write me back!

the Doorsteps of Winter

Aanii. Boozhoo and Hello there. While I wait for paint to dry… (tis the exciting life of the artist in the North Country), I thought I would share with you a few of the scenes out the west window. The pooch and the cat are eyeballing something in the tall grass.

Good Old Percy

Good Old Percy

Good Old Poochie

Good Old Poochie

They’re not working together but they are within a few meters of each other and I suspect the tall grass is busy with little critters.
As you can see we’re not war whooping into winter snow scenes but it isn’t far off. And I’ll tell you right now it’s cold out there. We’re in it until April fifteenth. If it’s fresh air you fancy, come to Manitoulin Island where we have plenty.

Well here is a sketch! It’s on a canvas board, I think it was 18×24 inches.

Wolf Scenes

Wolf Scenes

The actual painting of this, on a 30×30 inch canvas, was shipped out to Ottawa just before Halloween. The sketch I believe is called: Wolf Scenes. And this is what I’m talking about when I say commissions. The client group in Ottawa took a shine to this composition and I delivered the finished piece myself, just in time to take in the grand Zombie Stripper Bash right there on Bank Street in downtown Ottawa. A good day, trip, delivery and a great show at the club. You see us artists can cover all the bases in one trip, no matter how far apart they are!

So yes! Waiting for paint to dry on a Monday morning, in November. It’s quiet out here. The river is flowing at 100%. Leaves are down. Poplar in the fireplace, crackling, warming the rooms in this old house. The pictures we’re working on are looking good!