Archive for January, 2017

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…

Inauguration Day

Nothing like sitting up next to a blank canvas!  I’m always spooked going into something new, art wise.  But what is the worst we can do?  Fail?


I know what I want…  Not sure if I know how to get it.  But enough with the stewing, time to crack open those paints and get wiggling those brushes.

Calling Up the Almighty!


Acrylic on canvas board, sketch, 18×24 inches.

Here is an older piece, one of the many sketches of the lone Anishnabe, alone in the wilderness, at night.  He’s sporting the medicine wheel colours and some of the old teachings are carried inside.  On the outside are the bird clan symbols, two of them!  Twin ravens if you will!

We shall soon be switching paint gears though and I hope to show you something brand new, very soon!

Upcoming Kent Monkman show

I am so looking forward to going over to Toronto on the 26th of January and attending the opening of the Kent Monkman show, “Shame and Prejudice”, at the Arts Centre of the University of Toronto Art Museum!

I remember the first time I saw one of his pictures!  The Indian dude, on the horse, wearing the war bonnet and not much else, and sporting white Hollywood strip dancer style super high heels…  Lightning flashes for this boy!  Wow what a picture!  When my sweet Jazzy Moon and I visited the National Gallery of Canada on a sunny and mild afternoon back in November, we spent a lot of time looking at the gigantic, “The Triumph of Mischief” (7×11 feet!!!), and let me tell you this boy was awe struck!


That’s yours truly very seriously digging what is happening in The Triumph of Mischief.  I can just imagine what a room filled with his work is going to be like!

So!  On the 26th I’m going to get decked out in my “twinravens uniform” and walk myself in there, very much alone, and see this work first hand and hopefully meet the artist.  Hopefully I’ll come back with a photo to share.


Amusements in the New Year

As a cobwebbed musician and forgotten recording artist with one of the greatest native rock and roll bands of all time, there are days, even after all these years, I hear musical things:  Guitar chords…  Lyrics…  sounds…  flash…

Back in the old days I would plug in my fostex 4 track and make me up a song in rough, right there on the spot when said things would happen.  Here is an example of such:

“What to do with Sunday Afternoon”  is really called “Shaggy Wants to Go See Strippers Today”.  It was recorded on said Fostex, 4 tracks, and you can hear me calling out the tracks at the beginning of the tape:  “lead on two”, “vocal on three”…  Which means, get this:  I put the 12 string guitar on track one.  Put the guitar lead (still on the 12 string!) on track 2 without any vocal…  Then made the lyrics up as I went, pulling them out of the smokey air in the crib, on track 3.  Shag came along and put the background vocal on track 4 after he’d cooked us some bacon and eggs and washed the dishes, you can hear him hollering from the kitchen early on in the song.

It was one of those drunken Sunday mornings on Spruce Street, way back in what seems like another life time ago.  Like the song says: I really did have 40 bucks, and I really did want to go and shoot some stick and watch some NFL on that winter afternoon.  And 40 bucks back in the mid 90’s would go a lot further than 40 bucks today believe you me!  Gasoline was 44 or 45 cents a litre back in those days.  No stick and NFL for Shag though.  He had bigger plans.  (Shag of course was one of the lead singers and songwriters with the rock and roll band:  No Reservations, of which I’m going on about at the top of the page.)

Anyway.  Back to 2017.  I was at home on the range over the Xmas holidays, growing whiskers of epic proportions, lying ultra low, girls everywhere, when suddenly I could hear it.  There were guitar chords swirling, coming down from the spirit world…  So I grabbed me my trusty Ibanez Art Star and started strumming what I thought I’d heard but that wasn’t it!  So I grabbed my Ovation, the same 6 string that went through the entire war with me, and started strumming and like the Grinch Who Stole xmas, when he’s up there on the mountain top and he lends an ear to the Who’s down in Whoville, I could hear something faintly, music of some sort, coming up through the blissful wintery landscape.

These days it’s all apple and mac book pro!  So I booted up the photo booth fast before I lost the sound of those chords.  And here it is!  Recorded in super basic, on the 2nd fret.  Now mind you:  I live with all kinds of beautiful girls.  They’re everywhere.  And into everything, like raccoons but lord have mercy if you ever let them go!  So I pushed the record button and didn’t really record the idea of what I was hearing on the guitar, but the real gold is what is happening in the background.  So here it is:

Now that is some serious rock and roll!  (And oh yes:  I love my girls!)