Archive for February, 2015

the stars at 5 a.m. in late February

you’ll see a different selection than you do at 8 p.m. the day before.
the blizzard of yesterday is nothing but calm today.
and we have another chance to make something with our hands and of ourselves.

the pages of my ancient journal
consumed by an early morning fire

A Starry Night

A Starry Night

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At the 3rd Annual Anishnabe Artist Gathering and Art Show

Aanii! Beauty morning on the open range: nothing but clear skies, bluejays and chickadees, blazing sunshine and she’s a balmy minus 34 winter wonderland. We’ll thank our lucky stars there is no wind out there…

So yesterday I attended the 3rd Annual Anishnabe Artist Gathering and Art Show held at the Nbisiing Secondary School on the Nipissing First Nation over there next to North Bay, Ontario. I walked into the place wondering how big a deal they had going and it was a full house with at least 20 artists on hand with their work displayed. I lucked out as the dude next to me turned out to be none other than the great Leland Bell of Wikwemikong. It was good to see him again and chat it up and of course Leland’s partner was there and she is a grand lady to chat with. The three of us go back to 1995 and the beginning of the rock and roll band: No Reservations.

Leland Bell and yours truly at the 3rd Annual

Leland Bell and yours truly at the 3rd Annual

The organizers had a cacophony of local live music blasting throughout the afternoon making it difficult for artists to chat with potential art buyers. I was worried about my hearing as it was truly painful both in volume and selection. The lighthouse in all of this was Leland’s performance: acoustic guitar and an Anishnabe voice. (If you haven’t heard Leland sing, you should. He’s good.)

Top of the bill in the music department was a gang of boys who, as far as I know, hail from Wiki, and were doing the Johnny Cash tribute gig. Now I’m not a big Johnny Cash fan nor am I fan of that type of music but one thing is for certain: those boys had the gig down rock solid. They were a good outfit. Tight. Clean. And their front man, dressed head to toe in black, had the vocal chops completely at 100%. That vocalist doing the Johnny C. tunes was better than Johnny C. doing the Johnny C. tunes. That’s how great this guy was. Where for most of the afternoon excepting Leland, I had my ears plugged and wanted to run to the washroom and throw up, this Johnny Cash thing owned the place and was actually entertaining. First time for me hearing them, and I will say this much: if those boys can keep it together and keep their noses away from the fuzzy lines, they are going to do alright.

Awesome vocalist doing the Johnny Cash tribute gig.

Awesome vocalist doing the Johnny Cash tribute gig.

That Johnny Cash tribute band was amazing. They are going to have a great time in show business if they keep that up.

So I folded up my rock show around 6 and hit the open road for home, 3 hours behind the wheel. I rolled back onto the range around 11 and found the ladies safely tucked away, fire blazing, and the super pitch black out every window. Not a bad day at the office!

Visiting a few pieces from 2008

I had the pleasure of seeing these pieces once again! Painted in Ottawa and shipped to Toronto where they’ve been since 08. I’ve seen the basic sketches in ball point pen in an old sketch book lying around out here and like them so it was nice to see them in actual.

Acrylic on Gallery Canvas, using black and white only.

Acrylic on Gallery Canvas, using black and white only.

I really shouldn’t be wearing that big jungle jacket as it was 28 C in the residence. (Outside it was minus 32!)

New pieces to follow!

twinravens woodcut, c. 1987

Here is a blast from the past! And fresh in from a 28 year run, hanging at the Ranch. I made this woodcut in art school! This one is 6 of 6. Where the others are I have no idea. I remember print making class, playing around with making these woodcuts and having a good time with it. Never made any more after they cut us loose back in April 1987.

Art school wood cut, 1987.

Art school wood cut, 1987.

Actual image size is around 9×12 inches. I wonder what happened to the rest of the prints and what happened to the other images, I think I made a half dozen cuts. Who knows!!! Lost!

Old photos from ages ago!

Aanii! Boozhoo and Hello there! I hope you’re warm and cozy on this winter afternoon. We are doing very well out here. Outside the wind is filled with teeth! Inside the fire is blazing full, there is a turkey in the oven, an Australian chardonnay in the cooling, and some funny old polaroids from what must be 1995, sitting on the kitchen table.

Wild Indians (real)

Wild Indians (real)


That’s me and Norm on the movie set. The make up gals had us done up full serve and the director called us up as we had long hair that was real! We weren’t the lads to be wearing wigs!

twinravens as a Hollywood Indian...

twinravens as a Hollywood Indian…

Truth is it was a lot of fun. We lucked out. Norm and I missed getting in the van on that first morning. So we sat in the lodge waiting for a call. We heard the director calling over the radio for a bunch of fresh indians for a special scene. So we went down to the set and the director looked at us, then looked at Shelly who was standing next to me (he was a short haired Ojibwe) and said: That’s a wig right? Shell says Yeah man. So the director said to me and Norm, you boys come with me. And off we went into movie history.

I was at my mom’s house in Mindemoya yesterday, gathering up all the things we had stashed in the storage rooms. These two polaroids were some of the gems I hadn’t seen in ages. I had to share them with you.

At Cube Gallery in Ottawa

Aanii, Boozhoo and Hello there! Hey it’s Tuesday morning on the range, peaceful and a dreamy winter wonderland. No wind! Let me tell you it makes a big difference out here when the skies are calm. Here is a photo of the scene from this morning:

Tuesday morning on the Range

Tuesday morning on the Range

I visited Cube Gallery in Ottawa over the weekend and saw these two pieces on display:

30x30 canvas

30×30 canvas

30x30 canvas

30×30 canvas

Actually that bear painting I believe is a 30×40 inch canvas. Nice work though! I hadn’t seen them in awhile and enjoyed seeing them once again! Cube Gallery has a few others in the collection so just ask the folks at the front desk if you want a close up look at them. Also, if you’re around in February they have a Daphne Odjig show booked with the opening on Feb. 8th. Definitely worth a look and possibly a chance to meet one of the famed “Indian Group of Seven” painters, if she’s on hand at the open house.