Archive for June, 2016

Thursday Morning on the Range

It’s June 30th folks…  Hey time marches, with or without us!  Case in point:  today is the last day of Grade 8 and elementary school for my old buddy Jazzy Moon!  Remember that photo from a few posts ago, of Jazz at the mouth of the Mindemoya River?  I remember that evening: the final night of summer vacation with the Providence Bay beach empty, sun going down, the two of us alone together, swinging on the swings…  Well here I am at another one of those moments.  Take pictures!


The open range at 650 a.m., nothing but blue skies and green fields/lawns, bird song in every direction.  We’re at peace out here on a morning like this!


The Manitou River, in slow motion.  No rain in 30 days!  The river is running like it would in August.


Good ole Smokey!  You see that little maple tree there in the centre of the shot?  I planted that tree in that very spot so that years down the road I could sit under there in the shade and enjoy a summer afternoon as a 95 year old Anishnabe man.  I took that maple from out back behind the barn at my parent’s place in Mindemoya, back in June 2010, back in the days when we first landed here.  Old Smokey is slow to get going, unlike the other 50 maples and oak I planted which are going “ultra”.


Ah yes…  Time marches.  In a few short hours I’ll be putting the finishing touches on a brand new 24×36 inch canvas, “Bear Clan Dreams” (photo to soon follow!) and delivering it to Huron Island Time to replace the one that sold last night!  Slick!  And if there is time, maybe swing by the befuddled and ghost town esque Debajehmujig Theatre Group’s art gallery and see that show I’m in (the PAMA show from Brampton), supposedly up for the summer in cobwebbed Manitowaning.

Anyway.  There she goes.  Off to school.  The bus driver too, knows the deal.  I’d like to post a photo of the emotional goings on but Jazz won’t have any of it.  So the morning scenes of our open and sun soaked range will have to do for today:  June 30th, 2016.

Huron Island Time

Aanii!  Hey this is a short note to tell you if you’re visiting the town of Providence Bay, south shore of Manitoulin Island, and are of course on the beach, visit Huron Island Time where you’ll see a selection of my paintings, acrylic on canvas, all twinravens, all shapes and sizes!

Here is one of the pieces you’ll see!


“Good ole Moose Nahmiwan”, acrylic on canvas, 11×14 inches.

As far as I know this little art show will be ongoing through the summer!  Now for those of you who have never been to the beach at Providence Bay I can say this:  there are two sections to the beach.  Section one, near the Huron Island Time, is all sand and flipping beautiful!  But if you’re in the mood for some adventure take a walk out to Section 2: the east side where the old lighthouse use to be.  Now that is some scenic adventures.  Here is a snap shot of the sandy part of Providence Bay beach, from what seems like a million years ago…


Jazzy Moon at the mouth of the Mindemoya River, Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island, on the last night of summer holidays, Sept. 3, 2013.

Roncesvalles Flea Market

Miigwetch to the folks over there at the Roncesvalles Flea Market, held in the parking lot next to the Roncesvalles United Church, for a great day, Saturday, June 11th!  Fun times with beauty sunny climes to go with.

Of course getting to and from is half the fun.  On the way down I saw a black bear on the side of the highway near the turn off to the town of Killarney.  I haven’t seen a black bear up close like that in many a moon but there she/he was, 30 feet away!  After locking eyes with that woodland character it got me thinking about my own series of “Bear Clan” paintings and what new and interesting things might be developing on the drawing board. On the way home, if I didn’t see another one!  Up there on the Whitefish River Indian Rez, crossing highway 6, just before sunrise on Monday, and it stopped, turned and gave a me a looksie before wandering off to the grand and glorious La Cloche Mountain Range outback.

In deference of and to the mighty Blear Clan:


Acrylic on canvas board, 16×20 inches, October, 2011.

Wonderful to stand on the sidelines on Queen Street West and watch the mad capped goings on, folks cranking and horns honking, wild scenes in every direction, more scary than that black bear sneaking about, ready to shake hands!  I was standing around waiting for the art store to open so I thought I would take the brunch at the Drake Hotel Sunday morning, took a table with a view and wrote a poem!  I wrote it on the flashy Drake Hotel napkin, which unfortunately didn’t make it out of the good city.  So those song lyrics came and went pretty quickly.  Shucks.  The poem was about the corner of Bathurst and Queen…   (There is a place there where my Indian brother has a painting of his own creation either on display or in storage now, and I want that painting.  Very Telling picture (name of the song/poem (now lost forever…  ))

Like I said at the top:  getting to and from is half the fun.  The things you see along the way.  For example, Ten Mile Point (highway 6 on Manitoulin Island) has a pretty decent view during regular business hours but at sunrise…  Mega wow!  I was watching it as I motored along but when I came up on Ten Mile Point I put both feet on the brake pedal and brought the car squealing to a halt.  This is what I saw:


Zoom in:


I’m telling you:  the scenes along the way can be awe inspiring bits of magic.  Reminders too, that things can happen pretty fast, and if I’m not paying attention, tomorrow could quickly turn into last year.  As my dad use to say to me:  don’t put it off to tomorrow…


a weekend on the road

Aanii!  So here I am back on the sweet blue and green:  the range, backwoods, boon docks, southeast corner of Manitoulin Island and home sweet home.  It’s mid afternoon right now and I’m running on fumes as I rolled in at 4:30 a.m.  Twas the famed almost all night drive from the First Annual Holistic Healing Fair in Orillia, the third all night drive in the past four days!  

The wild night drives started with a couple of sight seeing days in the Byward Market in Ottawa.  I got the call on Thursday afternoon and that night, around 9 p.m. it was the open road!  The starry sky scenes between Mattawa and Deep River are always an amazing scene at 3 a.m.  The Milky Way is a sight to behold from that stretch, not unlike out here on the range except that out there, every now and again you’ll hear a train rolling through the Algonquin wilderness.  I always think about those poor lads, asleep behind their controls, riding the rails through the night, in the rut, out of sight and out of mind,  year after year.  Shine on you crazy diamonds!  

I pulled into Ottawa just in time for the morning traffic jam and I’m reminded, when I’m stuck in one of those, why I left the city.  The Byward Market was a grand sight on Friday and Saturday, sun blasting, folks coming and going, “If Six Was Nine” playing on someone’s motor bike sound system, and the memories of having lived in the city and being down there quite often, doing the stroll.

I pulled out of Ottawa on Saturday night and once free of the traffic lights, traffic and city scenes, I slipped “twinravens mixed music” disc Bezhik into the CD player (1990’s old schooler I know… ) and up came track one: “Horse With No Name”, through the speakers, as I rolled west on 17 towards the town of Renfrew and another round of the super boons.  It’s been a few years since I rolled through the towns of Griffith, Bancroft, Tory Hill, Kinmount, Norland, and sneaking into via the back roads to the now glittery Rama Indio Rez.  We drove that road many a time while promoting and playing for the late, great Debajehmujig Theatre Group which back in those days was based on the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve and was handled, managed and maintained by the late, great Larry Lewis.  My how times have changed.

Downtown Bancroft has not!  Said town and main street in photo to follow:


Old timer hospitality has not changed.  I was on the streets, boots on the ground, stretching my legs, maybe one minute before an old man came along, walking his dog and asked:  Do you need any help of any kind?  Quite unlike the lads in the shabby black pick up truck  at the Tim’s in Renfrew who, when they saw me standing next to my car dialling my phone, yelled:  Go home Slope!  (I think they meant to say wagon burner but as they were rounding the corner into the parking lot, maybe they were busy with the 2 tasks.)

Ah but whatever it is, it will remain as long as the sun shines and the rivers flow.  Same goes with peace, love, humility, old time hospitality and a bunch of other things but we’re talking two diff rivers!  And two diff sons.  

The Holistic Healing Fair in Orillia was beautifully put together, run on time and like their event in Sudbury back in March, a class act.  I was very happy to be a part of their vending team.

It was said and done by 4 p.m. and the open road was there for the taking!  But when you’ve been awake for the last 3 of 4 days your mind and vision will play tricks.  I was thinking about those airborne boys on June 5, 1944, and how they started out on their 30 day adventures in France on the same night all those years ago, and how their minds and visions must have been playing tricks as well, a few days into, say Carantan.  Of course once again we are talking about two diff rivers and two diff sons.  

Quite on the other hand:  the Manitou River continues to flow, in peace.  Unchanged and as far as I can see.  Not sure how it was flowing on June 6, 1944, but today, June 6, 2016, it looks something like this:


Yes we have a lot to be thankful for.  And am reminded always, while on the road, there is a home I have, and a place to return, a place worth driving all night to get back home.

The first 13 tracks (18 tracks in total) on the “twinravens mixed music” disc:

  1.  Horse With No Name
  2. Year of the Cat
  3. Hypnotized (Fleetwood Mac of course!!!)
  4. Night Moves
  5. Into the Msytic
  6. Colorado Song
  7. Father and Son
  8. John Barley Corn Must Die
  9. Babaji
  10. Ten Years Gone
  11. Band on the Run
  12. Magneto and Titanium Man
  13. Love In Song 

New Moon Raven

I had this one hanging in the work space at 95% for what?  Five or nine months?  Well.  I put the final 5% on there yesterday and it is what I imagined all those days ago!


Acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches.  “New Moon Raven”, somewhat in the Ojibwe Woodland style of painting (hats off to Norval Morrisseau!) and somewhat in the twinravens style of painting!